THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) said the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines that would be used for the 2013 polls are safe in Laguna despite the massive flooding there.

Comelec said the facility of Smartmatic International-Total Information Management (TIM) Corporation in Cabuyao, Laguna was spared from flooding that hit the province Tuesday.

“There is no reason to worry. The (PCOS) machines are definitely well-secured and well-protected,” Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes said over a phone interview.

He said Smartmatic wouldn’t allow anything bad to happen with the machines that were first used in the 2010 presidential polls.

“Their life depends on it so why will they allow anything bad to happen?” Brillantes said.

Laguna Governor ER Ejercito placed the province under a state of calamity Tuesday due to flooding that affected the province’s 20 towns and cities.

Floodwaters also submerged Metro Manila and nearby provinces due to heavy rains brought about by southwest monsoon.

Earlier this year, Comelec purchased 81,280 PCOS units from Smartmatic for the 2013 midterm elections.

However, the poll body has yet to award a winning bidder for the lease of a warehouse where the machines will be placed. To date, the body maximizes the free use of the Cabuyao Smarmatic facility, which expires on August 31.

The public bidding for the P112-million warehouse lease project is still up for second bidding after the first failed due to the absence of eligible bidders.

Among the requirements the Comelec specified for the warehouse were: a lot area of at least 30,000 square meters with a floor area of at least 25,000 square meters and a 20-feet ceiling clearance; concrete floor, columns, and walls; with continuous water and power supply; and with security personnel barracks, canteen, resting areas for employees, fire alarm system and closed-circuit television cameras. (HDT/Sunnex)