‘Smartmatic should bear cost of vote transmission ’
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - October 25, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Smartmatic-TIM (Total Information Management Corp.) should bear the cost of transmitting votes in the May 9, 2016 elections from the precincts to various canvassing centers, Rep. Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna said yesterday.

He said the Commission on Elections (Comelec), after awarding two contracts worth P8 billion to Smartmatic-TIM for the supply of 100,000 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) voting machines, should require its equipment supplier to shoulder the cost of vote transmission.

He said the transmission of the election results should not be covered by a separate contract, since the PCOS units are supposed to electronically transmit the votes after the last ballot is cast in every clustered precinct.

Without such capability, the PCOS machines are useless, since the equipment will accept the ballots but will not be able to transmit the votes, he added.

Over the weekend, the Comelec announced that it has until Nov. 4 to accept applications from interested automation service providers to participate in its negotiated procurement for its electronic results transmission contract worth P558 million.

Zarate said Smartmatic-TIM should be able to absorb the cost of vote transmission since P558 million is just a small fraction of its P8-billion contracts.

He said if the same PCOS supplier bags the transmission deal, it would appear that it is a favored contractor.

He noted that Smartmatic-TIM was first given a P1.7-billion contract for the lease of 23,000 PCOS units.

Later, it was awarded another contract worth P6.3 billion for the lease of an additional 77,000 units after the same supplier, allegedly for lack of time, refused to refurbish the 100,000 PCOS that the Comelec bought from it after the 2010 elections, Zarate said.

He also criticized the poll body for failing to seek or provide funds for the electronic transmission of votes.

BILLION CARLOS ZARATE OF BAYAN MUNA COMELEC CONTRACT PCOS SMARTMATIC TIM TOTAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT CORP TRANSMISSION VOTES ZARATE
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