“We need to buy brand new counting machines because we are no longer sure the old Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS machines) which are stored in an air-conditioned warehouse can deliver 100% accuracy,” Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brilliantes told House committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms.
Previosly procured PCOS machines have served three elections the 2010 presidential elections, barangay elections and 2013 senatorial elections. According to Comelec chair, “Using counting machines for 2 to 3 elections is enough.”
“With a presidential election coming, we would want to ensure that everything is okay. A way for us to ensure this is to purchase all brand-new PCOS machines. Mas maganda na bago ang gamitin natin kaysa luma,” Brilliantes said.
Procuring new PCOS machine will cost PhP18 billion, P10 billion for the hardware Optical Mark Reader (OMR) and the other PhP8 billion for the paraphernalia and software needed by the machines.
However, Brilliantes said final decision will be on Congress. If not allowed by the Congress, at least new additional counting machines are needed as stimulus to old machines. Comelec proposed a PhP36 billion budget for 2016.
Briliantes together with Commissioners Elias Yusof and Lucenito Tagle will retire next year. Four sitting Commissioners Grace Padaca, Christ