The Commission on Election (COMELEC) has allotted P11 billion to buy 121,800 new Precinct Counting Optical Scan (PCOS) machines for the May 2016 national elections.
Based upon the report of GMA News Online, Comelec Executive Director Jose Tolentino Jr. told a congressional hearing for House committee on suffrage and electoral reform that the poll body will conduct a public bidding next year regarding the new PCOS machines to be purchased.
According to Tolentino, the acquisition of the PCOS machines and their accompanying software will cost at around P10.96 billion. An estimated 56 million registered voters are expected to participate in the May 2016 presidential elections.
COMELEC Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. earlier said that the poll body might turn to other suppliers aside from Smartmatic-Total Information Management, the company which supplied the PCOS machines used for 2010 (national) and 2013 (local) elections.
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Sixto Brillantes said on the hearing on Monday, May 26, 2014 that the poll body has started its preparations as early as December 2013.
“Based on our experience in the 2010 and 2013 automated elections, it is best if we prepare for the next elections two years [before they are held],” the COMELEC chairman said.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Election is currently conducting a nationwide voters registration for the May 2016 elections which will end on October 31, 2015. The poll body previously announced that it may hold a biometric registration for senior citizens and PWDs at malls.