SECTIONS
Sunday, April 21, 2019

Comelec: In worst case scenario, we'll go manual

MANUAL transmission of results will be an alternative for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in case an area has no signal during the May 13, 2013 elections.

But it is highly improbable for the barangays to have their election results transmitted manually but if that is the case, there is nothing wrong with manual transmission, said a Comelec official.

Comelec 7 Director Temie Lambino told Sun.Star Cebu he has yet to receive the report that 10 mountain barangays of San Fernando might have to transmit election results manually.

Lambino said that in areas where there is no telecommunication service, a Broadband Global Area Network (Bgan) will be used. One cannot say that this will not transmit in areas where there is no network service because this system uses the global positioning satellite.

He also clarified that there is nothing wrong with the manual transmission of results as this could not be cheated. Results would be printed immediately after the voting closes and the compact flash (CF) cards would be sealed in an envelope.

The CF card would then be brought to the municipal hall for transmission to the provincial hall and so on.

While he has yet to receive the report from the San Fernando Election Officer Rudy Gilos or from Provincial Election Supervisor Eddie Aba, Lambino said he will check on the matter soon.

By April, Comelec 7 should already have the list of areas that may need the Bgan. Not all areas will be provided the Bgan, especially in urban areas where the signal from
the three telecommunication companies are strong.

"There is no point giving local government units (LGUs) with strong signals the Bgan (portable satellite) considering that we don't have that much available," said Lambino. He could not estimate how many of the satellites will be given to Cebu or the region.

In 2010, the Municipality of Tabogon had to manually transmit election results because it failed to do so using the networks. A portable satellite would surely be setup in the barangay for the May 13, 2013 elections.

Sending the results manually is only a last resort. Comelec officials said they will try all means to send the poll results through the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine.

If machine transmission is impossible, they will bring the machine to the nearest barangay that has signal.

Aba said the police will escort the team that will transfer the PCOS machine to another barangay.

Provincial Election Officer Ferdinand Gujilde said Comelec survey showed that all the areas in Cebu have signal, although there is no assurance that all will go well on election day.

Memory card

Aba said when that the machine will have to be transferred, its memory card should not be removed to avoid suspicions.

Among the barangays with poor signal are the ten barangays in San Fernando, the mountain barangays in Toledo City and midwestern towns of Cebu.

Aba said there are 14 towns and cities included in the tentative election watchlist areas (Ewas) in the Province of Cebu, which were presented during the Regional Joint Security Control Center (RJSCC) meeting last Thursday.

In the list are the cities of Bogo, Toledo and Danao, and the town of Pinamungajan.

The list is evaluated by police and the military.

Pinamungajan Mayor Geraldine Yapha said she doesn't mind if her own is in the list because it means there will be many people who will monitor the town's elections.

She believes political tension will be intense not just in Pinamungajan but in the whole province.

"Probably, yes, not because I am running, but because the governor is running," she said.

Yapha, who is under the Liberal party, will run against Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia of One Cebu as third district representative.
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