• Comelec poll decision hangs


    THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to decide what machines it will use to conduct the national and local elections in 2016.

    The poll body was to announce its decision after an en banc hearing on Tuesday but no announcement was made.

    Comelec spokesman Director James Jimenez informed members of the media who waited for almost three hours that the decision will instead be made at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

    The commission held its regular en banc session at the Manila Hotel. The body also held a marathon special session on Monday.

    Commissioner Luie Tito Guia earlier confirmed to The Manila Times that the Comelec’s final option will be made known Tuesday.

    A source at the Comelec also told The Times on Monday that the poll body is most likely to use Optical Mark Reader (OMR) machines since the second bidding for the repair and rehabilitation of 81,896 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines was declared a failure.

    Poll officials pushed for the repair of the old PCOS units because it is cheaper but only one company participated in the bidding but its offer was rejected.

    Smartmatic backed out of the bidding because it said there is no more time to refurbish the machines, which were also used in the 2010 and 2013 elections.


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