Comelec: PCOS machines won't be wasted

By Sheila Crisostomo, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 05 2014 03:21 AM | Updated as of Feb 05 2014 12:09 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections assured the people on Tuesday that the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines will not be wasted even if they will no longer be used in the 2016 polls since the machines could be sold to other countries.

In an interview, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said they could sell the 82,000 PCOS machines to other countries also planning to automate their elections.

Jimenez noted there would be many takers since the “Philippines is being looked up to as a model for automation in Asia.”

“Many countries are asking us on our experience and how they can learn from it. Because of this, there is a possibility that it is now our turn to become vendors,” he added.

The official said that while there are other nations in the region that have automated their polls, the Philippines’ automated polls in 2010 was the biggest in scope.

“We have a wide range of experience and expertise in terms of automated elections. This is why if we become vendors, it is highly unlikely that there will be no takers,” he added.

The poll body is currently waiting for the inter-agency Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) to decide whether or not the PCOS machines could still be used in the 2016 polls.

The machines were initially leased by the Comelec from Smartmatic International Corp. in the 2010 elections and were then bought for P1.8 billion for the May 2013 polls.

Under the law, the CAC will have to review the machines to determine if they are still the best technology to use in elections.