What’s holding PH from having a smooth automated election?
Marje Pelayo • May 16, 2019 • 1149
MANILA, Philippines – It took the Philippines 18 years before it finally applied the automated election system (AES) in 2010, the time when Benigno Aquino III was named the country’s 15th President.
The plan to fully automate the electoral process was raised in 1992 by then Commission on Election (Comelec) Chairman Christian Monsod during the term of then President Fidel Ramos.
Speaking to UNTV News, Monsod explained that the main purpose of automation was to expedite the election process and to make the job easier for the Commission.
“The vision is really to have the returns faster. It’s two – accuracy and speed. Those are the two objectives,” Monsod said on Thursday (May 16).
In 1996, the election in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was declared a success.
It was then that the computerized election system in the country was pilot-tested using the technology provided by a U.S. company American Information System, Inc.
In December 1997, Republic Act 8436 or “An Act Authorizing the Commission on Elections to Use an Automated Election System in the May 11, 1998 National or Local Elections and in Subsequent National and Local Electoral Exercises, Providing Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes” was signed.
However, it was applied only to specific areas like Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and not to the entire Philippines.
During the term of former President Joseph Estrada, poll automation did not push through.
In 2004, the administration of then president Gloria Arroyo awarded the P1.3B poll automation contract to Mega Pacific E-Solutions but the Supreme Court (SC) nullified the contract due to irregularities in the bidding process. A complaint against then Comelec Commissioner Benjamin Abalos Sr., other commissioners and executives of the Mega Pacific E-Solutions was filed in relation to the contract but the case did not prosper due to lack of probable cause.
It was in 2008 that Smartmatic-Sahi Joint Ventures entered a contract with Comelec as the provider of the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Technology while the Active Business Solutions Inc. and Avante International provided the Optical Mark Reader (OMR) Technology.
The said technologies were applied in the ARMM elections that time but several glitches manifested.
In 2009, the contract for the 2010 presidential elections was awarded to Smartmatic-TIM, the same technology provided tapped in the succeeding polls in 2013, 2016, and this year 2019.
This preference to Smartmatic raised doubts and questions to the credibility of the election process.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III, for one, suggests that Smartmatic must be replaced by a different technology provider.
“Matagal na noong January pa (ay) sinasabi ko na yan. Ang problema noong nag-privilege speech ako (ay) nakapag-award na ang COMELEC. Remember, kasi napakadaming problema,” Sotto said.
(I have been reminding them, ever since January. But then when I gave my privilege speech, Comelec already awarded [the contract]. Remember, there were many problems before.)
The recently concluded 2019 midterm polls was not spared from glitches and problems as many SD cards appeared defective and more vote counting machines malfunctioned as compared to the election in 2016.
But the poll body argues that it is only Smartmatic that passes their bidding requirements aside from the company’s experiences in the previous elections.
Comelec added that this year, not all election materials were provided by a single supplier which, according to the agency, justifies why there were defective supplies.
“In 2016, bundled ang aming bidding…Ngayon iba ang supplier ng makina, iba ang supplier ng SD cards, iba rin ang supplier ng papel at marking pens so doon ang nakita naming problema hindi masyadong nagma-match,” argued Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas.
What the poll body is looking at this time is whether or not to still reuse the VCMs despite their service in the two consecutive elections. – (with details from Rey Pelayo) Marje Pelayo
According to Wishcovery Season 2 grand champion, Rhea Basco, her childhood dream was to become a mermaid, inspired by the animated version of the classic fairytale, The Little Mermaid.
And for a day, she was finally able to live this fantasy through scuba diving in Mabini, Batangas when she joined the crew of UNTV’s travel series, “The Dive” on its latest episode.
With over 80 beaches and dive resorts, Mabini is dubbed as the “Diving Capital” of Batangas Province.
It has 26 world-class dive sites, including four protected marine sanctuaries – Arthur’s Rock, Batong Buhay, Twin Rocks and Cathedral dive site.
Mabini is also the location of Anilao – believed to be the “Birthplace of Philippine Scuba Diving”. Anilao is well-known as the “Mecca of Macro Fauna” due to its spectacular marine critters, making it one of the most-visited diving destinations of local and international underwater photographers.
With two and a half to three hours of land travel from Metro Manila, Mabini is one of the nearest destinations where beach chasers can go to level up their travel adventure through scuba diving.
Join Rhea in her first-ever scuba diving adventure in Mabini, Batangas and find out the reasons why scuba diving in Anilao should be added to your bucket list.
Discover the marine jewels of Mabini this coming Sunday, 11:00 AM with your weekly diving buddy, The Dive, only on UNTV. — Maribelle Boral-Cabling
Watch the live stream on the following social media accounts:
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday called on overseas Filipino workers (OFW)to re-register in order to vote in the 2022 Presidential elections.
The DFA made the call following information from its overseas voting secretariat that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it deactivated a total of 578,185 overseas voters for failing to participate in the last national and local elections in 2016 and 2019.
The DFA said deactivated overseas voters may re-register when registration opens from December 16, 2019 to September 30, 2021 at the following areas:
Any Philippine Embassy, Consulate General, Mission, or Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO)
The DFA said that all Filipino citizens who expect to be abroad from April 9 to May 9, 2022 during the overseas voting period for the 2022 Presidential Elections, and are at least 18 years old on May 9, 2022 and not otherwise disqualified by law, may register as an overseas voter at the said locations.
OFWs, as well as immigrants, seafarers and students who are about to leave for abroad and are not yet registered as overseas voters may also register on the said dates.
Tough defense was Judiciary’s main weapon in defeating the three-time and defending champion AFP Cavaliers last Sunday, 78-72.
“Yung ensayo namin double effort kasi kalaban namin three-time champion, kailangan talaga sila paghandaan. At saka depensa namin medyo maganda kanina kaya siguro tinalo namin sila,” Judiciary Magis Coach Joey Yabut said.
On the other hand, AFP Cavaliers head coach Cornelio “Sonny” Manucat II said, “Medyo nagkaroon ng lapses sa defense, yung game plan hindi ginawa.”
Hailed as Best Players of the Game were Jearomel Serrano, who nailed 5 three-pointers, and Chester Tolomia with 17 points.
“Sobrang saya kami […] yung team namin medyo nag-improve talaga yung sa depensa,” Chester Tolomia expressed.
“Eto yung halos pinakamalakas na team ngayon [AFP Cavaliers], kahit papaano nagawan namin ng magandang laban yung AFP at ang resulta nanalo kami,” co-BPG awardee Jearomel Serrano said.
Only the Cavalier Darwin Cordero scored in double digits, 32 points, for AFP.
Because of tough defense, the usual AFP gunners, Boyet Bautista and Jerry Lumongsod, were restricted in the scoring department.
Meanwhile, Wilfredo Casulla Jr. was not present in the clash as he is undergoing mandatory schooling for career advancement if the Philippine Air Force which will end after two months.
AFP Cavaliers has now dropped to 2nd place in the ranking with 6 wins and 1 loss, leaving the DENR Warriors on top.
Meanwhile, Judiciary Magis improved its record with 3 wins and 3 losses.
In the other game, Marvin Mercado recorded a double-double stat line with 28 points, 14 rebounds plus 3 assists and 1 steal to lift the NHA Builders against the Agriculture Food Masters, 74-72.
“Practice pa rin kami, tapos dasal. Ini-involve namin lahat ng players, yun ang nagpapaganda ng laro namin kaya kami nanalo,” Best Player of the Game Marvin Mercado confessed.
“Inayos namin yung mga plays namin, yung mga depensa namin. Salamat naman sa end game nanalo rin kami. Tatlong game na kami talo sa end game so hopefully gumaganda na yung laro nila sa end game, na-co-contain na namin yung aming panalo,” NHA Builders Head Coach Silverio “Bennett” Palad expressed.
And in the third game, PITC Global Traders climbed to the 4th spot after serving the Malacañang-PSC Kamao its second loss, 68-58.
“Wala lang laban lang talaga, we are just working hard every practice, every game, so I hope magtuloy-tuloy,” PITC Global Traders Head Coach Vic Ycasiano admitted.
Marlon Keith Martin was honored as the Best Player with 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal.
On next Sunday’s game (December 8), PhilHealth Plus will go against Judiciary Magis at 2 pm while NHA will take on PITC and AFP- Malacañang-PSC will be pitched as the main game of the triple-header.
Games will still be played at San Juan Knights Gym live starting at 2PM with telecast, webcast and live streaming at UNTV Cup’s Facebook and YouTube accounts. — Bernard Dadis
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