The Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) has officially recommended to the country’s elections body the adoption of Optical Mark Reader (OMR) technology in the 2013 elections.In an exclusive interview with Louis Napoleon Casambre, executive director of the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) and chair of the CAC, said the council has already sent two resolutions to the Comelec recommending the use of OMR technology. It is now up to the Comelec to decide whether or not it would adopt the recommendation of the CAC. If the poll body decides to stick with the CAC recommendation, its next step would be to pick the type of OMR technology that will be used in the elections. The country also used OMR technology, specifically PCOS (precinct count optical scan), in the 2010 national elections.
The choice of OMR technology means that Smartmatic, the contractor in the 2010 elections, can still sell its machines used in the previous elections to the government should the Comelec again select the PCOS type for the 2013 polls. However, Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman, an IT expert and known critic of the PCOS technology, is advocating the use of a “cheaper” poll technology called Open Elections System. But it is the Comelec en banc which will decide which type of OMR technology – if it indeed adopts the CAC recommendation – to be used in next year’s elections.