60% of Cordillera precincts has signal glitch


THE Automated Election System (AES) provider of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced that 60 percent of the total 6,361 precincts in the Cordillera Administrative Region have problematic signal which may affect the transmission of poll results.

Comelec and its AES provider Smartmatic expects the transmission of all election results on May 10, the day after Election Day.

But during the final Regional Joint Security Control Center Command Conference (RJSCCC) held May 3, Smartmatic Regional Coordinator Adelino Tabangin said they have conducted a resurvey of areas with transmission glitches in 2010 and 2013.

“The geographic survey was conducted from December last year to January 2016. Results of the survey showed that majority of CAR (Cordillera) precincts remain to have problematic cellphone signals,” Tabangin said.

While he refused to divulge these areas, the Smartmatic personnel said a Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) will be provided for every three Vote Counting Machines (VCM) to ensure swift transmission of election results.

“In areas where the precincts are allocated miles away, a ratio of one BGAN is to one VCM will be ensued,” Tabangin added.

BGAN devices are portable satellite antennas that can operate from the most remote locations. Smartmatic technicians will likewise be deployed to assist the Board of Election Inspectors in case VCMs will have glitches or when signal is not dependable during transmission of results.

Based on Tabangin’s pronouncement, at least 3,816 precincts in the region are within areas having scant signal infrastructure.

In the 2013 polls, Comelec and Smartmatic were able to attain a 76-percent transmission rate nationwide. Cordillera was able to transmit election results by early dawn following the date of the election.

Delay in the transmission of election canvass reports may result in the postponement of Comelec’s proclamation of winning candidates and may spark talks of possible manipulation of election results.

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