THE last batch of automated machines or the more than 6,000 units will not arrive on the expected February 21 deadline of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

But Gene Gregorio, spokesman for the consortium of Smartmatic-TIM, said these 6,380 units of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines will be due next week.

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“We expect it to arrive by next week,” Gregorio said, declining to give a definite date.

Gregorio further stated that the 6,380 machines are just awaiting its shipping documents from the manufacturer and will be shipped out Saturday, February 20.

At the same time, Gregorio explained that these undelivered PCOS machines are just “reserve PCOS” units, noting that all the machines to be used for the 74,000 clustered precincts are already in the country.

Of the 82,200 PCOS under contract, 48,900 are now stored in the warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna while 15,720 units are now being delivered to the warehouse.

At least 11,200 more machines are now sitting at the Bureau of Customs awaiting clearance and release.

To recall, the Comelec said it expects all the machines totaling 82,200 to be completely delivered on February 21, Sunday.

The poll body declared the partnership of Smatrmatic-TIM as the winning bidder to supply the automated machines under a lease purchase agreement amounting to P7.2 billion.

Aside from the PCOS machines, Smartmatic will also print the ballot papers and provide the ballot boxes for the May 10 elections. (MSN/Sunnex)