Comelec: Poll preparations almost complete
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - April 6, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - With still more than a month to go before the elections on May 13, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is almost done with all preparations for the coming polls.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said the poll body is nearing completion of the preparations and is now in the “implementing stage.”

“We are already through with the ballot boxes, the ballots and we are already winding up our preparations here,” Brillantes said after inspecting the 78,000 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines stored in a warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna.

Brillantes said 16,000 PCOS machines have been distributed to their regional hubs in Mindanao and another 20,000 are set to be deployed in other areas soon.

Brillantes expressed confidence that the Comelec will meet their target date of deploying all the PCOS machines from their warehouse in Cabuyao, which is now operating 24 hours daily.

There are 78,168 PCOS machines, equivalent to the number of clustered precincts in the country.

On the other hand, security forces have been reminded to avoid physical contact with or operating any of the PCOS machines during the election period.

Chief Superintendent Juanito Vaño, Zamboanga regional police chief, said the warning was issued for police and military forces to avoid being accused of manipulating the election.

The police, military and the Comelec have been meeting to iron out preparations for the election, including the security for deployment of the PCOS machines.

“The military and police cannot tinker with the PCOS machines. They are off limits. Their concern is for them to provide security that the PCOS machines reach the destination safely,” Vaño said.

Since preparations are almost done, Brillantes said the Comelec is now focusing on the conduct of the overseas absentee voting (OAV), which will start this month.

Brillantes said he and the other Comelec officials will be going to different countries where there are large numbers of Filipinos who will be participating in the OAV.

He said Comelec will also conduct automated OAV in areas where there are a concentration of Filipino communities like Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

– With Roel Pareño

 

BRILLANTES CABUYAO CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT JUANITO VA COMELEC COMELEC CHAIRMAN SIXTO BRILLANTES HONG KONG MACHINES PCOS SAUDI ARABIA AND UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
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