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PPCRV to Comelec: Consider suppliers with ‘global experience’

/ 01:49 PM May 15, 2019
PPCRV to Comelec: Consider suppliers with 'global experience'

May 3, 2016
Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) inaugurates the electoral watchdog’s Command Center at the Pius XII Catholic Center Complex in Manila, with a demonstration of the VCMs as the National elections comes to a near.
INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) should consider election suppliers with more “global experience” to prevent poll failures from recurring, an official of the Church-backed poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said Wednesday.

READ: Comelec blames ‘bottleneck’ for 7-hour server delay

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“I think that they should open it to all bidders that have global experiences,” PPCRV chair Myla Villanueva said in an interview at the watchdog’s command center.

A technology pioneer herself, Villanueva said more tech experts should be part of the bidding committees procuring election materials such as vote counting machines (VCMs), SD cards, marking pens and ballot papers.

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On Tuesday, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said he wants a new service provider for VCMs to replace Venezuela-based Smartmatic while reelectionist Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III sought a congressional probe into the reported VCM glitches.

READ: Sotto wants Smartmatic scrapped; Pimentel calls for probe

A total of 961 VCMs and 1,665 SD cards suffered glitches during the Monday midterm elections, the Comelec said Tuesday, adding that 1,253 SD cards had already been replaced.

The joint venture of S1 Technologies Inc. and Silicon Valley Computer Group supplied the SD card for a contract price of P22.6 million, while the pens and ballot papers were provided by Triplex Enterprises at a cost of P153.8 million. Government procurement laws require agencies to prioritize the lowest bidder that satisfied the bid requirements.

READ: 961 VCMs, 1,665 SD cards suffer glitches in 2019 polls — Comelec

Villanueva meanwhile bucked proposals to go back to manual voting. She called it a “backward” step from solving the problems during elections.

“I am sure in my instinct that we still want automation but we also need to make sure that all options are considered… It’s moving backward in time instead of forward in time looking for better solutions,” she added.

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Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez earlier vowed to review its contracts with election material providers and see if there were violations. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)

READ: Comelec to go after suppliers of faulty VCMs, SD cards after proclamation

See the bigger picture with the Inquirer's live in-depth coverage of the election here https://inq.ph/Election2019

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TAGS: Comelec, Election 2019, Local news, Philippine news update, PPCRV, VCM
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