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Comelec officers to undergo PCOS training

Posted on: October 6, 2009

Comelec officers to undergo PCOS training

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 16:17:00 10/06/2009

Filed Under: Technology (general), Elections

MANILA, Philippines – Around 180 Commission on Elections (Comelec) personnel will receive training in handling precinct count optical machines to be used in next year’s automated elections, a poll agency spokesperson said Tuesday.

The poll body received on Tuesday 20 PCOS machines from Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM). These machines will serve as seed units to be deployed nationwide to educate both election officers and constituents.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the machines will be deployed in 16 regional offices to train key stakeholders such as poll officials, teachers who will serve as board of election officials and poll watchdogs.

These developmental units contain the basic operation configuration of poll machines the Comelec intends to use next year, said Smartmatic-TIM spokesperson Gene Gregorio.

“As development sets they will be used to define the final customization of the units while being used to train Comelec personnel and teachers on basic operations,” Gregorio said.

Comelec plans to use 80,000 PCOS units to automate counting of votes in paper ballots, generation and printing of election returns (ERs), transmission of ERs to a central system and canvassing of votes.

The final configuration of the automation system, including the software to run the PCOS and canvassing units, will depend on the final document of general instructions for 2010 elections to be released by Comelec this December.

At present, the 20 machines are loaded with Smartmatic’s basic operational software, according to Gregorio. “There will be little customization to do on the basic software loaded in the machines,” he said.

Under terms of the contract, Comelec will pay Smartmatic five percent of the total contract price of P7.2 billion for the 20 PCOS units. Software licenses were turned over to the poll agency last July.

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