The Commission on Elections will be reusing the existing Optical Mark Reader technology as the primary voting system for the 2016 Presidential Elections. Chairman Sixto Brillantes made the announcement to the media Tuesday afternoon following an en banc meeting of the Commission. Brillantes said that the en banc has decided to adopt in general the recommendation of the Comelec Advisory Council to reuse the existing technology, “provided that the existing machines be subjected to rigorous quality assurance and testing processes” and “that the security features and minimum system capabilities required by law will be fully implemented.” Brillantes said that the Commission is looking to purchase or lease between 10,000 to 41,000 additional precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines to augment the existing 80,000 purchased machines.
The number, he said, will depend on their decision to decrease number of voters per precinct from 1,000 voters to between 600 to 800 voters. “If 600 voters per precinct we may need about 41,000 more. If 800 naman, mas konti between 10 to 15,000 (new PCOS machines),” he said. The Commission is set to start public bidding process soon for the additional machines.
Brillantes said that they will be amending the terms of reference to include that the winning bidder be also responsible in refurbishing or upgrading the existing machines. This is on the condition that the old and new machines should both be interoperable with the Consolidated Canvassing System or CCS.
The chairman said that they initially wanted to have all new machines for the elections, but were constrained with budget concerns as Congress only approved P10.3 Billion for the elections, instead of their requested P18 Billion.
Full Article: Comelec: Mix of old, new tech for 2016 polls | ABS-CBN News.