Dumaguete City elections officer Jerome Brillantes said yesterday that the Commission on Elections in Negros Oriental is hopeful that it can comply with the May 4 nationwide simultaneous final testing and sealing of the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines for the May 13 polls.
Brillantes said the PCOS machines will be deployed to clustered polling precincts on May 3 or 4, so that the final testing and sealing could be carried out by the Board of Election Inspectors and the PCOS technicians.
As of press time, the Comelec has yet to receive the machines for the 1,076 clustered precincts in Negros Oriental, Brillantes said.
Meanwhile, Provincial Elections Supervisor Juvenal Tuale said that, due to lack of personnel, only one cop can be assigned to each machine instead of the buddy system required by the Comelec.
But he assured that safety nets are in place to avoid a mix-up of the individually-assigned units, and that each machine is configured to be independent of the other.
At the inter-agency and coordination workshop conducted in Silliman University, Dumaguete City yesterday, Tuale said the PCOS machine in precinct one will not function if used in precinct two, unless the security key, memory card and the official ballot are also changed.
Police chiefs of Negros Oriental, who attended the workshop, raised concern over the security of the PCOS machines.
Col. Francisco Patrimonio, commander of the Philippine Army 302 nd Infantry Brigade, said the soldiers will secure the PCOS machines assigned to the interior barangays of Guihulngan City, Canlaon City, Vallehermoso, Sta. Catalina, Siaton, Zamboanguita and Pamplona.*JFP/JG
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