Comelec uses plastic seals instead of padlocks
More News from Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is expecting to save millions of pesos by replacing the padlocks on ballot boxes with serialized plastic seals and by forgoing the purchase of thumbmarkers used in getting the thumbmarks of voters.
Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. told reporters that they are replacing padlocks because they are heavy and bulky and do not have serial numbers. They can also be easily opened and closed again without leaving any signs of tampering, he said.
“Padlocks are expensive and heavy. We decided to use small plastics seals that have serial numbers,” Brillantes said. “If it is tampered it cannot be replaced [and] we can check it through its serial number.”
Padlocks with key would cost around P125 per unit while the plastic seals cost around P30 per unit. At least 270,600 units of padlocks are needed or 452,000 units of plastic seals.
A ballot box would require at least four padlocks or seals.
Brilantes said that the padlocks would have cost the Comelec around P32.4 million while plastic seals, based on computations, will cost around P14 million.
“That’s a big difference, more than 50 percent would be saved. The padlock is the most expensive,” Brillantes said.
“Under an automated system, the ballots do not require so much protection because there are already picture images [of the ballots],” he said.
Brillantes also said that voters will no longer have to place their thumbmarks when they vote. They will only have to put their signatures.
“When voters have their thumbmarks taken before voting, it might smudge on the ballot,” Brillantes said.
The ballots have a tendency to be rejected by the Precint Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines if there are stray marks on it.
“Technical examination on whether the person voted will depend on the signature,” Brillantes said. “Anyway biometrics of voters now have photos.”
Because they no longer need thumbmarks, the Comelec will be able to save around P12.4 million from the purchase of thumbmarkers which cost P24 each, Brillantes said.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94