Comelec urged to decide ASAP on PCOS

By Mayen Jaymalin, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 17 2014 08:42 AM | Updated as of Feb 17 2014 04:42 PM

MANILA - A poll watchdog is urging the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to decide at the soonest time possible if it intends to use a new technology in the 2016 elections and junk the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.

Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) chair Henrietta de Villa over the weekend said the Comelec must resolve immediately whether to reuse the PCOS machines or not, so that stakeholders would have enough time to prepare if ever a new technology would be used to avoid problems in the conduct of the polls.

“If there shall be change in machines, then the Comelec has to decide before the end of March, so it can be factored into the 2015 budget,” De Villa noted.

“PPCRV is ready for any option. Same or change. But time is the essence Comelec has to consider,” she added.

De Villa further noted that deciding early would also help ensure the success of voters’ education since the PPCRV and other groups would have more than a year to make voters familiar with a new system.

Earlier, the Comelec said that it is considering replacing the PCOS machines, which were used in the 2010 and 2013 polls, with a new Automated Election System (AES) for the forthcoming polls.