Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista.

TACLOBAN CITY, (PNA) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is expecting the delivery of first 200 vote counting machines (VCM), representing the first batch of 93,977 VCMs manufactured by Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp. (Smartmatic-TIM) in Taiwan.

Comelec Chairman Andres D. Bautista is confident that Smartmatic will be able to ship all leased machines by Jan. 31, 2016.

The second batch of delivery is on November with a total of 10,000 units, according to the highest Comelec official.

“The earlier they are delivered, the better for all of us so we can practice and familiarize,” Bautista told reporters on the sidelines of consultative meeting with election officials in Eastern Visayas on Friday.

The Comelec decided to lease an entire set of vote-counting machines for PHP8 billion for next year’s national and local polls as it ran out of time to refurbish the machines used in past elections.

“This is an upgraded version. It will address some of the issues encountered in 2010 and 2013 elections,” Bautista said.

Last month, Smartmatic initially delivered five machines, which are now up for review by international certifying agency, SLI Global Solutions based Denver, Colorado, USA.

“We are forming a group who will go to Taiwan to observe the manufacturing process of machine,” he added. Some senators and congressmen have signified their interest to join the trip.

Early next year, Comelec will also conduct a roadshow in all provinces to help voters and teachers familiarize the functions of VCM.

The old precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines used in past polls would be refurbished and used for the 2019 mid-term elections, according to Bautista.

Meanwhile, the poll body in cooperation with De La Salle University, held the public source code review for the 2016 Automated Election System on Thursday, seven months ahead of actual voting.

In 2010, the source code review was one done less than one month before the elections while in 2013, the review was conducted in just four days, Bautista recalled.

“Because we have learned from our past, we started the source code review seven months before the elections. We have to beat the 2013 timeline and improve key result areas.”

There’s also an ongoing international source code review being conducted by SLI Global Solutions in Colorado , USA “to make sure that all systems are in accordance with international standards.”(PNA)