Comelec-12 ready to avert system failures during polls

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 2 May) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Region 12 assured on Thursday that it has put in place the necessary measures that would avert possible system failures in the area during the May 13 midterm local and national elections.

Lawyer Remlane Tambuang, Comelec Region 12 director, said they have so far completed their operational and technical preparations as well as backup plans to address possible problems that might emerge on election day, among them the possible power failures.

The official said the regional office has required all provincial, city and municipal election offices in the region to also formulate their respective backup plans.

Comelec Region 12 has jurisdiction over the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato as well as the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong and Kidapawan.

Although it is part of Region 12, the elections in Cotabato City are supervised by the Comelec in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Tambuang said the Comelec central office has allotted enough backup election equipment and supplies for the area that may be used in emergency situations during election day.

He said they were specifically issued with additional precinct count optical scan or PCOS machines, backup batteries and mobile satellite network devices.

Tambuang said the PCOS machines that will be used on May 13 come with backup batteries that automatically switches on in case of power failure.

He said they have assigned trained technicians for each polling center and precinct in the region that will handle any PCOS-related problem on election day.

The PCOS machines will be inspected and tested thoroughly by Comelec technical personnel and the assigned board of election inspectors during the scheduled final testing and sealing of the machines on May 6 to 10.

“With these measures now in place, I can assure everyone that there will be no failure of elections in our area this coming elections,” Tambuang said.

In Region 12, the official said the Comelec central office has assigned 2,843 PCOS machines for the upcoming elections.

Comelec Region 12 has established a total of 2,807 clustered precincts out of the area’s 13,999 original precincts. The total number of registered voters in the region is presently at 2,015,062.

In the 2010 national and local elections, the region only had 2,769 clustered precincts and 1,987,427 total registered voters.