Comelec eyes 6,100 more PCOS machines for 2016 polls
The Commission on Elections would need to purchase 6,100 units more of Precinct Count Otical Scan (PCOS) machines if it decides to again use this technology for the May 2016 polls.
The poll body said additional PCOS machines would be necessary given that there are at least four million expected new voters for 2016.
With more voters by then, the Comelec said it would need about 86,100 PCOS units.
There are 52 million registered voters in the May 2013 polls.
It was in 2012 when the Comelec purchased the more than 80,000 PCOS units for P1.8 billion for the May 2013 midterm polls.
The poll body first leased the PCOS machines from Smartmatic International for an amount of P7.2 billion including other technology- and election-related services during the 2010 presidential elections.
The commission earlier estimated the purchase of more than 6,000 units to cost around P6.91 billion.
Earlier, Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said the PCOS machines will still be evaluated to see whether those can still be utilized in May 2016 polls.
“What we are trying to do now is see if the machines are still in good condition. It is only realistic for them to suffer from wear and tear, which might necessitate the replacement of parts or, in some cases, replacement of entire units… Will the hardware be good enough for 2016? That is the question,” he said in an earlier interview.
Jimenez said they are just waiting for the evaluation of the Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) of the machines.
Under the Poll Automation Law, the CAC is mandated to recommend “the most appropriate, secure, applicable and cost-effective technology” to be used by the Comelec during elections.