“THE lab tests have not failed. The PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines have not failed,” said Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal.

The official issued this statement in the weekly poll automation update to reporters to clarify that not one single machine have failed the tests performed in Laguna.

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PCOS machines will be used in the coming automated May elections.

According to Larrazabal, some reports have been misquoting him when he reported that the initial PCOS machines being tested only read 30 ballots out of the 600.

But Larrazabal earlier clarified that the error was caused by a high shading threshold, which was already corrected by Smartmatic-TIM and the poll body.

“Comelec's preparations regarding the automation project for the upcoming May 11th elections are done with full transparency, and always with the commitment of keeping the people of this country aware of every progress made and setbacks encountered,” said Larrazabal in a statement.

The ongoing lab tests are now concentrating on “fine-tuning the software.”

The software, after it is reviewed by the Technical Evaluation Committee, will be presented to political parties for their own review.

Once they are finished, the poll body will inform the Filipino people of the results of the tests they performed on the machines, Larrazabal assured.

The commissioner, as the head of the steering committee on poll automation, furthered that he will "continue being upfront with the media on matters concerning the elections, as Comelec is committed to this role."

25,720 PCOS machines

On a related note, Smartmatic-TIM spokesperson Gene Gregorio said that the number of PCOS machines in the country has totaled to 25,720 after the latest delivery of 10,400 machines on Tuesday.

In two or three days, another batch of 4,800 is set to arrive in the country.

Machines for canvassing and consolidation have also been delivered, said Gregorio.

Smartmatic-TIM, in its contract with Comelec, has to deliver all the 82,200 machines to be used for the 2010 elections by February 28. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)