THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Davao Region, in coordination with Air21, the 10th Infantry Division (10th ID) of the Philippine Army, and Police Regional Office (PRO) are deploying 3,501 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines to different polling centers in the region.
Comelec assistant regional director Lawyer Jose Villanueva, in an interview in the sidelines of the Regional Joint Security Coordinating Council (RJSCC) meeting at Camp Catitipan on Thursday, said the transport of these PCOS machines are now in progress.
"Ongoing karon ang pag-deliver sa mga PCOS machines sa lain-laing polling centers sa region. Ang Air21 ang official carrier and so far wala mi naka-encounter ug problema sa pag-deliver sa mga PCOS machines (The delivery of the PCOS machines in the different clustered precincts in the region. Air21 is the official carrier and so far, we have not encountered any problems in the delivery of the PCOS machines)," he said.
Villanueva is also confident that the PCOS machines will be in place by May 5, in time for the final testing and sealing on May 6.
The officer, however, admitted that the usual problem that they encounter in the final testing and sealing is the malfunction of the compact flash (CF) cards of the PCOS machines.
But, Villanueva has high hopes that the issue could easily be resolved.
"We have contingency units to replace any malfunctioning PCOS machine. So if a PCOS machine gets destroyed, we can assure that the voting process will still continue since there will be spare PCOS machines," he said.
The 10th ID and PRO, meanwhile, are currently escorting the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) and Air21 in delivering the PCOS machines.
In an interview with Sun.Star Davao, Major General Ariel Bernardo, commander of the 10th ID said: "In place na lahat ng aming tropa para sa delivery ng PCOS machines. Pagkatapos ng final meeting namin with the RJSCC, na-finalize na namin ang aming election day and post-election security measures. (Our troops are already in place for the delivery of PCOS machines. After our meeting with the RJSCC, we have already finalized our election day and post-election security measures)."
In a separate interview, Chief Superintendent Jaime Morente, PRO regional directorsaid some BEIs have requested that the military and police should stay away from the convoy of the delivery of PCOS machines since they may provoke the NPA to attack.
"We will not grant their request but we assure them that we will keep a safe distance so that we could still monitor the PCOS machines," Morente said.
Morente added that they have already rented additional vehicles to ensure that they will be able to escort the deliverers of the PCOS machines.