MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The final testing and sealing of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in the province of Batangas province was delayed Saturday after teachers in a small town mistook old defective compact flashcards as the new configured ones.
The provincial office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was already reporting to the media of a 100% delivery of PCOS machines and flashcards when its provincial supervisor, Gloria Petalio, received a report of a failed testing.
The report said 37 out of the 44 compact flashcards used in the final testing and sealing at the Talaibon Elementary School in Ibaan town were defective.
ABS-CBN News correspondent Jeff Canoy, who rushed to the town to check the report, found out that the flashcards used by the teachers, who will be acting as members of the board of election inspectors on May 10, were the old ones.
Petalio immediately ordered the teachers in Ibaan town to stop the testing.
The poll supervisor said the teachers could have mistaken the old ones as the new configured flashcards shipped from Smartmatic-TIM's main warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna.
She admitted that several defective flashcards have yet to be retrieved by the Smartmatic-TIM.
Old flashcards came from Comelec people
Teachers at the Talaibon Elementary School, meanwhile, said that the defective flashcards came from the Comelec.
They told ABS-CBN News that they thought flashcards were the newly configured ones because they were delivered by the Comelec only on Friday.
The teachers were asking why would the Comelec distribute the old defective flashcards despite its earlier announcement that the defective cards have already been retrieved and disposed off.
Some of the defective flashcards were brought back to the Smartmatic warehouse in Laguna to be recycled and reprogrammed.
Smarmatic Southeast Asia president Cesar Flores told radio dzMM in an interview on Saturday morning that all new flashcards have been shipped out of the warehouse.
Flores said that as of Saturday morning, 70% percent of the 76,340 flashcards have been delivered to various municipalities and they are expecting a 90% completion at the end of day.
He said they are hoping that "almost 100%" of the total number of flashcards will be delivered by Sunday.
Commission on Elections spokesman James Jimenez, meanwhile, said that they are expecting a 5% failure in the delivery of the flashcards.
Jimenez said that latest anticipated time of arrival of some flashcards is Monday afternoon.
He, however, clarified that voting in polling areas without flashcards can still push through.
He said the teachers only have to collect the filled out ballots and set them aside until the flashcards arrive. – Report from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News