COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said on Wednesday that Negros Occidental will be among the pilot areas for the Voters Verification System (VVS) in the 2019 elections.
"We will start VVS in vote-rich provinces including Negros Occidental and Bacolod City to eliminate flying voters and multiple voters,” Guanzon said. She added it was approved in the Comelec en banc.
Other pilot areas are Quezon City, Manila, Cavite, Pangasinan, Cebu including Cebu City, Davao Del Sur including Davao City, Zamboanga del Sur including Zamboanga City and Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao.
VVS is a machine wherein voters will be recognized through their thumb marks, like the ones used by employees in high-tech offices.
Negros Occidental is the fourth vote-rich province in the country. It has a total voting population of 1,768,087 with 863,679 males and 904,408 females.
Comelec had attempted to test the system for the 2016 national and local polls in Metro Manila but it did not pushed through, Guanzon said.
In fact, the poll body had begun the bidding process for the lease of 23,000 VVS units amounting to more than P700 million.
The VVS units will be used to check a voter’s biometrics data, including fingerprints, to see if he or she is on the voters’ list.
The VVS units will serve as an additional security measure.
Guanzon said the people's money will be worth it for VVS.
She said the Congress has approved P1.9 billion for Comelec's Option to Purchase and has also approved P3 billion for the purchase of machines this year.
Meanwhile, Guanzon said Comelec welcomes any investigation by the Senate relative to the alleged fraud in the 2016 elections relative to the use of the Vote Counting Machines (VCM).
"As you know, the vote counting machine is very efficient. It will just scan the ballot that is fed to it. It will tally and transmit it. I would worry about zero votes if there is statistical improbability...if Congress wants to change the law, there is always an alternative. They can always pass a law reverting to manual (election),” she said.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on March 08, 2018.
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