Agencies ‘101 percent ready’ for poll day

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013


WITH the elections just around the corner, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) 7, Department of Education (Deped) 7, the police and military assured the voting public they have a “complete, concise and intact preparation” for this year’s midterm automated polls.

“We are 101 percent ready,” said Comelec 7 Director Temie Lambino yesterday during the meeting of the Regional Joint Security Command Center.

Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Marcelo Garbo Jr. has placed the region on a full-alert status starting yesterday until May 13.

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“All police officers are now in their respective places. No one is allowed to leave,” he said.

Utility groups, composed of mobile telecommunication companies and electricity distributors, have already ironed out their plans.

Lambino said the training of election inspectors, teachers, technicians and supervisors has also been done.

“We are not worried anymore about our people on the ground,” he said.

Jamming

During the final briefing held at the Castle Peak Hotel, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) 7 Director Jesus Laureno said they have confiscated a signal jamming device that could delay the transmission of the election results.

He told reporters they seized the device last April in one of the stores in Cebu City’s downtown area while they were conducting inspection.

The device that looked like a router, but with four antennas, could block the signal and could reach as far as 200 meters.

Laureno said the device, which came from either China or Singapore, is now in the country and could be used by unscrupulous individuals to disrupt the electoral proceedings. It is sold at P15,000 to P20,000 per piece.

“If you notice there’s no more signal in your area, especially during the election day, a jamming device could have been used,” he said.

Lambino, however, said they are not worried because the device will not affect the results after all.

In case the transmission will be hampered, he said they could also use Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN), Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) or do it manually.

“Magsasayang lang sila ng panahon. We have a lot of contingencies. It is useless,” Lambino said.

Distribution

Meanwhile, Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines have been officially distributed in Talisay City’s polling precincts yesterday afternoon.

Despite the lack of personnel, Talisay City’s police are now prepared to secure the city during the 2013 Elections next week.

Election officers and supporters of the city’s respective political parties came to witness the distribution of the PCOS machines at the New Talisay City Hall in Barangay Lawaan 2 at around 1 p.m. yesterday.

Lawyer Gallardo Escobar Jr., Talisay City’s acting election officer, said the PCOS machines were supposed to be distributed today. However, the machines arrived at the City Hall at around 5 a.m. yesterday, which was way ahead of schedule.

About 128 PCOS machines were delivered to Talisay City and scheduled to be delivered to the city’s different polling precincts.

Barangays Tabunok and San Roque will receive the most number of PCOS machines, due to having 10 to 11 precincts. They are followed by Barangays Mohon and Lawaan 2, with nine precincts in their area.

The PCOS machines will delivered to their respective polling precincts assisted by the local election assistants, the local police force, barangay officials and representative of the city’s Alayon and Liberal Parties.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 07, 2013.

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