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COMELEC SAYS Poll duty in 2010 easier, safer for teachers

Posted on: July 8, 2009

COMELEC SAYS
Poll duty in 2010 easier, safer for teachers

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 17:21:00 07/08/2009

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Elections, State Budget & Taxes

MANILA, Philippines – With the automated system, it will be easier and less dangerous for teachers on election duty in 2010, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Jose Melo said Wednesday.

Since results from precincts will be electronically transmitted, ballot boxes containing printouts of election returns will become less likely targets for poll cheats, Melo said.

“If some operators want to steal or switch ballots, as the teachers transport the ballot boxes to the municipal treasurer’s office, it will do no harm to the election results because the results are already transmitted to Comelec… With this, teachers also face less pressure or danger in transporting the ballots,” Melo said.

In the 2005 mid-term elections, public school teacher Filomena Tatlonghari was shot dead after she refused to give a ballot box to armed suspects.

In the Philippines, public school teachers are required by the Constitution to go on election duty.

Melo said there was enough time to train teachers to operate the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.

He said 400,000 teachers would be tapped to man 80,000 precincts nationwide in 2010.

On Friday, the Comelec will sign a contract with the Smartmatic-Total Information Management consortium, which was tapped to supply the PCOS machines.

“Tuloy na tuloy na ang signing ng contract at automation sa 2010 [The signing of the contract for the 2010 automation will definitely push through]… We are all systems go for 2010 poll automation,” he said.

Smartmatic-TIM tendered a P7.2-billion bid to lease counting machines to the Comelec.

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