The call of a non-government organization to junk the reuse of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in the May 2016 polls was rejected by the Comission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday. Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said they cannot junk the PCOS machines because they were not given enough budget allocation for a new automated election system (AES). “We don’t have money for that,” he said in an interview. Earlier, Government Watch urged the Comelec to use a new AES in the next polls instead of reusing the PCOS machines citing alleged cases of discrepancies between the results of physical count of ballots and the voting machines as reason.
However, Brillantes does not agree with the group saying the poll body’s advisory council won’t recommend the reuse of the PCOS if they are convinced that it cannot come up with credible election results. “They won’t recommend that without thoroughly studying it,” he said.
“We (en banc) will not allow that also…yes there are deficiencies but these are minor and we are already correcting it,” added Brillantes.
The Comelec en banc earlier decided to reuse the PCOS machines and a secondary Optical Mark Reader (OMR) technology for the 2016 presidential polls.