Comelec techie asks Congress: Probe 2010 polls
An official of the Commission on Elections on Thursday called on the House and Senate to convene the joint congressional oversight committee (JCOC) on poll automation to help the Comelec find the best voting technology for the 2013 midterm polls.
Commissioner Augusto Lagman said the committee’s input was needed by the Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) which is mandated by law to evaluate and recommend the appropriate election automation technology to the poll agency.
“I think the committee should convene. It has not met since the 2010 elections. There should have been an assessment of those elections. This is important because we want to learn what lessons we can from the 2010 elections,” Lagman told reporters.
Under Republic Act No. 9369 or the Amended Automated Elections System Act of 2007, the CAC should have submitted a report on the 2010 election technology to the JCOC within six months of the polls. The committee should then have evaluated the voting technology and studied whether to adopt it for subsequent elections.
For the 2010 national and local polls, the Comelec adopted the precinct count optical scan electronic voting technology. A P7.2-billion contract was awarded to a consortium led by Smartmatic Corp.
Lagman said an assessment of the 2010 polls would be timely since new CAC members had been appointed.
“Assessing the past election is the job of the JCOC, not the CAC,” he said.
On Wednesday, CAC chairman Louis Napoleon Casambre revealed the new private sector members of the council following a month-long selection process.
They are: University of the Philippines professor Rommel Feria, George Kintanar of the Chief Information Officers Forum Foundation, Bettina Quimson of the Philippine Software Industry Association, lawyer Rogelio Quevedo of the Philippine Electronics and Telecommunications Federation, lawyer Louie Tito Guia of the Legal Network for Truthful Elections, and Henrietta de Villa of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting.
Rounding out the list of CAC members are three ex officio members from the government, namely, Science Undersecretary Fortunato de la Peña, Education Undersecretary Alberto Muyot, and Casambre, in his capacity as Information and Communications Technology Office executive director, as ex officio chair.
The members will take their oaths on Monday before Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr.
RA 9369 requires the CAC to recommend to the Comelec “the most appropriate, secure, applicable and cost-effective technology” for use in the 2013 elections.
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