Comelec wants new automated machines for 2016

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 04 2014 02:49 PM | Updated as of Jun 04 2014 10:49 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is pushing for the purchase of new machines for the 2016 polls as part of its budget proposal for 2015.

Speaking to "Mornings @ ANC" on Wednesday, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said they are seeking a P36 billion appropriation, which includes P18 billion for new machines to replace the Smartmatic precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines used in the 2010 and 2013 polls.

But if the request is not approved, Brillantes said the poll body will have no choice but to use the old machines.

"Gusto namin sana all new kasi while the old machines are still there and we're actually taking care of it and maintaining it, siyempre kung gagamit kami for the presidential elections, we will prefer a new one. If we have the necessary funding and if Congress will give us the funding, we will prefer a new one," he said.

Meanwhile, Brillantes credits the Comelec's aggressive voter registration campaign for the good turnout of registrants.

He urged voters to proceed to Comelec centers before the October 2015 deadline so they can vote in 2016.

"We're surprised that so many people are now registering under the biometrics, which we did not expect... We have the information drive, we have the Walkah-Walkah na naglakad from Laoag up to Manila si (Comelec spokesman) James Jimenez," he said.

"Importante kasi that this 9.6 million voters will not be disenfranchised because of failure to go into biometrics," he added. -- ANC