Comelec sets limit on reviewers of local source code

Mayen Jaymalin, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 18 2015 09:19 AM | Updated as of Sep 18 2015 05:46 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set a limit to the number of groups that will participate in the review of the local source code to be used in next year’s elections.

The source code is a set of human-readable instructions that dictate how the voting machines should operate.

In a resolution, the poll body said there are limitations on who will be allowed to join the review, although the poll automation law mandates the Comelec to open it to any interested party.

The source code review will be held at the De La Salle University on Oct. 1.

Under the Comelec guidelines, only registered political parties and accredited groups, including citizens’ arms, will be allowed to join the review.

Two information technology groups recommended by the Comelec advisory council and the host educational institution can participate in the review.

The Comelec said preference would be given to major political parties.

The poll body stressed the need to limit the number of participants because of the limited space where the review will be held.

The Comelec had disqualified those belonging to any religious sect or denomination, foreign party or organization and any group receiving monetary or any form of financial support from any foreign government, political party or foundation.

Interested groups can only appoint a maximum of three qualified reviewers. “Only one qualified reviewer is allowed to review the covered system at a time,” the commission said.

Interested parties were given until Sept. 22 to file their intent to participate in the review with the Comelec’s steering committee.

The written request shall include the credentials of the local source code reviewers, such as the certified true copy of the diploma of the reviewer.

The source code review shall be done in two phases. The first phase involves the baseline source codes and the second the customized and configured source codes.

Participating parties are not allowed to get or take out any material from the source code.

Laptops, mobile phones, cameras, flash drives and other storage devices are also not allowed inside the facility unless authorized by the commission.

Each participant shall be required to submit a weekly report on his findings as well as a final report after the end of each review phase.

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