PCOS machine tests ‘successful’By Ador Vincent Mayol
Cebu Daily News
There were no major glitches in yesterday’s field testing for the Precinct Count Optical Scanners (PCOS) machines in the cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu, said local supervisors of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Despite a 30-minute delay in the transmission of results to the Capitol due to signal problems from telecommunications networks, Comelec provincial supervisor Marco Lionel Castillano said. “Still it was generally successful.”
Results from Camp Lapu-Lapu Elementary School and Lahug Elementary School were sent to the canvassing center at Cebu City Hall in “less than a minute,” Comelec Cebu City south district election officer Edwin Cadungog said.
“The transmission of results was very fine. There were no glitches as of the moment,” Cadungog said.
The PCOS machines were brought to Camp Lapu-Lapu Elementary School in Apas, Cebu City; Lahug Elementary School; Basak (Lapu-Lapu) Elementary School; and Looc Elementary School which were considered as polling precincts.
The transmission of the prepared results started at around 8:30 a.m.
In case the first transmission failed, Cadungog said Comelec personnel at the polling precincts should try to send it two more times.
If the transmission fails for the third time, Cadungog said they have to manually transmit the results from the polling precincts to the canvassing center.
At the Capitol’s social center, the result from Lapu-Lapu City was received by the Canvassing and Consolidation System 30 minutes late.
The results from the city and province of Cebu were transmitted to Manila.
On election day, Castillano said all results from the provinces will be transmitted to the provincial canvassing center at the Capitol social hall.
Although Lapu-Lapu City is a lone congressional district, Castillano said results of the senatorial race from Lapu-Lapu City will still be transmitted to the provincial canvassing center.
Castillano said voters in areas that are classified “dead spots” or with little to no Internet connectivity can still cast their votes through the PCOS machines.
In the last elections, Castillano said they transmitted data from the PCOS machine using satellite feed via the Broadband Global Area Network.”
“In mountainous areas in Naga City and the towns of San Fernando, Tabogon and others, we used this method,” he said.
Castillano said results can also be saved in a memory card and sent to the Provincial Board of Canvassers.
The memory card will then be inserted in a card reader connected to a computer or laptop for transmission, Castillano said. He said “there are 3,169 PCOS machines or one per polling precinct in Cebu province.
Castillano said the reliability of PCOS machines was seen in the resolution of election protests when it was shown that results of the manual counting of ballots reflected the same vote count tabulated by the machines.
Another transmission testing in all clustered precincts will be held a week before the May 13 elections.
Candungog reminded the public that the voting period will begin at 7 a.m. and will end at 7 p.m. on election day.
He said the period will allow 1,000 voters in each clustered precinct to cast their votes. With Correspondent Renan Alangilan