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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, March 8, 2018
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Vote-rich Negros VVS pilot area


Vote-rich Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, will be among the first areas in the country to have Voters Verification Systems for the 2019 polls, that will put a stop to flying voters.

The Commission on Elections en banc Tuesday approved the use of the VVS in vote rich provinces for the 2019 elections, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, who was in Bacolod yesterday, said.

Aside from, Negros Occidental that has the fourth largest number of voters in the country, other areas to provided with the VVS are Quezon City, Manila, Cavite, Pangasinan, Cebu including Cebu City, Davao del Sur, including Davao City, Zamboanga del Sur, including Zamboanga City and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, she said.

“It’s a wide coverage considering these are the vote rich provinces,” she said, adding that Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, will be among the first to have the VVS.

The VVS, that will be placed in precincts,is a thumbprint identification device just like what is used for attendance instead of bundy clocks, she said.

A voter will be identified through his or her thumbprint, she said.

“When we have the VVS we will be able to eliminate flying voters and multiple voters. It will cost us some money but certainly it will be worth the expense of the people,” she said.

If there is a minor glitch in the identification of a voter’s thumbmark, one can also be identified through ones identification card or signature, she said.

Guanzon said the Comelec will also need Vote  Counting Machines ( VCM) in preparing for the 2019 polls.

So the Comelec is taking the option to purchase (OTP) the 92,000 plus VCMs rented from Smartmatic in the 2016 polls under the contract, she said. It is cheaper to adopt the OTP than rent or buy new machines from somewhere else, she said.

The option to purchase will cost P1.9 billion compared to buying new machines that would cost about P6 billion, she said, pointing out that they are required to use public funds judiciously.

And because the voting population has increased, they will also have to lease additional VCMs for the 2019 polls, she said.*CPG


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