Comelec mulls purchase of used PCOS machines

Posted at 06/18/10 6:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections has until the end of December to decide whether or not to buy the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines used in the 2010 polls.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said that while there are advantages in purchasing the poll automation machines, the decision will be made after a post election evaluation.

He said the poll body is thinking of a third-party review of the PCOS machines and the poll automation process. Storage and maintenance of the more than 76,000 PCOS machines will also be a factor in the Comelec's decision, he added.

"If we look at the whole thing as an investment, it's wise to buy it now because we can spend little next time. ROI-wise, it's attractive. Estimated cost is P3 billion to P4 billion inclusive of proprietary software. Counting and transmission software included in hardware purchase," he told reporters.

Smartmatic Asia-Pacific president Cesar Flores earlier said the Philippine government can save as much as P22 billion if it buys the used PCOS machines now and uses them in the next 4 elections.

Smartmatic deployed a  total of 82,000 voting machines and trained 45,000 technicians in canvassing and polling areas for the May 2010 elections. Report from ANC