2013 goal: Poll winners declared in 24 hours

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 09 2012 05:10 PM | Updated as of Nov 10 2012 07:38 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is aiming to finish all the counting of votes and proclamation of winners in next year's mid-term elections within 24 hours.

"The expectation is we get results in 48 hours. Yun ang standard nung 2010. In the spirit of improving, we're now looking at the possibility that results will be out in 24 (hours)," Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said.

Jimenez said the poll body is studying how to further streamline the election process. He said that in 2010, the voting was finished by 7 pm – 8 pm.

“By midnight, naglalabas na ng resulta. Na-delay kasi siyempre may prusesong sinusunod. Alam na natin raw data election returns from precincts and we’ve consolidated to various levels of results dahil may existing procedure na precinct, municipal canvassing, provincial and so on and so forth. Kung i-streamline natin, mas mabilis and ang basehan ng proklamasyon di lang projection kundi actual na bilangan,” he said.

The Comelec spokesman said the quick announcement of results removes or prevents doubts on the integrity of the results of the election.

"Kung pagbabasehan ang senatorial elections, natapos tayo in 48 hours. We can finish in less than 48 hours na dadaan ka pa sa iba’t ibang canvassing level. Medyo mahabang usapin iyon kasi amendment ng batas kakailanganin,” he said.

He said the 24-hour plan can be affected by various situations on Election Day.

"Kalaban mo diyan operation ng iba’t ibang boards, masyadong maraming variables. Paano kung nagkaaberya? Di bagsak ka na sa 24-hour target mo. Kung (election returns) lang pagbabasehan at mas streamlined, kayang kaya,” he said.

Jimenez assured the public that the introduction of a central server to receive and distribute the results of election returns will not affect the transparency of the process.

For 2013, the poll body plans to have election returns submitted to a central server which will in turn distribute the ERs to the Internet, the Comelec file, and the accredited media and citizens' arms. In 2010, the ERs were transmitted directly to the intended recipients.

“They will know what the central server receives. You have observers at every level,” he said.

Jimenez explained this is to ensure the recipients get the results as quickly as possible at the same time.