SD card provider should not receive full payment after election glitches — Comelec
( - May 15, 2019 - 5:49pm

MANILA, Philippines — A poll official on Wednesday said the Commission on Elections might not pay in full the provider of SD cards after glitches marred the midterm election.

Speaking to reporters, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said she would order a probe into the bidding process and delivery of SD cards, which were supplied by company S1 Technologies.

“This is my personal view na itong supplier ng SD cards 'di namin babayaran nang buo at ipasusuri ko yan yung proseso sa bagbi-bidding at pag-deliver nila ng cards,” Guanzon said.

Comelec said out of 85,769 SD cards released for Monday’s election, 1.9% or 1,665 units malfunctioned — of which 1,253 were replaced. In 2016, there were 120 broken SD cards.

Meanwhile, 961 or 1.1% of total 85,769 vote counting machines (VCM) earmarked for this year’s elections were defective, higher than 801 faulty VCM in the 2016 presidential election.

Voter's information sheet

In the same media interview, Guanzon said Comelec will also look into the National Printing Office alleged decision to “subcontract” the printing of voter’s information sheet to a company called “Holy Family Printing Press,” saying the move was against the rules of the Commission on Audit.

“Yung voter’s information sheet na inaward namin sa National Printing Office. Dahil government-to-government eh walang bidding. Tapos nalaman ko at sagutin nila ako kung totoo tanungin niyo sila, pina-subcontract ba nila sa Holy Family Printing Press ang voter information sheet namin because that’s against COA rules,” Guanzon said.

(We awarded the contract for the printing of voter’s information sheet to the National Printing Office so that we don’t have to undergo bidding process because it’s a government-to-government transaction. Then I found out that the NPO subcontracted the project to Holy Family Printing Press and that’s against COA rules.)

“Kaya sila ang pinili namin para wala na kaming bidding dahil time was of the essence. Kung totoo yan and some directors answer my question, Holy Family ang nag-deliver sa kanila at mali-mali... So dahil mali-mali, it could have confused the voters, it could have resulted to failure of election,” she added.

(We chose the NPO so we could do away with the bidding process because time was of the essence. If this is true and some directors answer my question, Holy Family delivered the voter’s information sheet, which were full of errors that could have confused the voters and could have resulted to failure of election.)

“Mabuti na lang naagapan at the commission en banc ordered na di i-distribute yung voter’s information sheet. Now NPO should be asked because they’re accountable for this.”

(Good thing we were able to find a remedy and the commission en banc decided not to distribute the voter’s information sheet. Now NPO should be asked because they’re accountable for this.)

Amid reports of problems with vote counting machines and hours-long delay in transmission of election returns to media groups and watchdogs, Comelec declared Tuesday it successfully held the midterm polls. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral

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