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Delivery of poll ballots starts

Mayen Jaymalin, Raymund Catindig - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Two private mail firms started delivering ballots and other election paraphernalia in Luzon and Mindanao last Saturday.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Grace Padaca said Air21 and ToGo won the bidding for the delivery of election materials.

Air21 was tasked to make the delivery in Mindanao, while ToGo will service the Visayas.

Padaca said the Comelec has given provincial elections supervisors the discretion on the mode of distribution for far-flung areas.

Precinct level officials must not take later than 24 hours to bring the materials in their jurisdictions, she added.

Padaca said she will not allow any precinct level election officials to get the materials and paraphernalia from the Comelec on election day.

Provincial elections supervisor must schedule and take charge of the distribution to ensure that the materials arrive ahead of time, she added.

Nueva Vizcaya Vice Gov. Jose Gambito said he had tasked the pool of volunteers to assist election officers in bringing the election materials to remote areas of the province.

Standby generators are on call in areas without electricity and in case a power failure occurs elsewhere in the province during the elections, he added.

The Comelec has allowed the final testing and sealing (FTS) of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines outside polling precincts.

FTS outside polling precincts is allowed only on certain conditions, the Comelec added.

In a resolution, the Comelec said it is legal to conduct FTS of PCOS machines outside the designated polling precincts.

“The change of venue of the FTS shall be approved by the Regional Election Director subject to conditions,” the Comelec said.

The Comelec said FTS outside polling precincts is allowed if the location of the precinct would make it difficult to supervise the FTS.

 â€œWhen there is lack or difficulty of means of transportation in the area and that peace and order in the area justify the transfer of venue of FTS to another location before Election Day,” the Comelec said.

The Comelec said the deployment service provider shall deliver the PCOS machines and election paraphernalia to the proposed FTS venue and to the polling precincts without additional cost.

FTS can still be conducted at least seven days before election day, the Comelec added.

During the FTS, the PCOS machines are tested, sealed with finality, and will not be opened again until election day, the Comelec said.

COMELEC COMMISSIONER GRACE PADACA ELECTION ELECTION DAY FTS JOSE GAMBITO LUZON AND MINDANAO MINDANAO NUEVA VIZCAYA VICE GOV PADACA REGIONAL ELECTION DIRECTOR
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