PCOS machines can be sold if not used in 2016

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is considering an option to sell precinct count optical scanner (PCOS) machines if the Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) recommends dropping of automated elections in 2016.

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Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the poll body could opt for an exit strategy that could involve selling PCOS machines to different countries automating their elections.

He added that the poll body is not closing its doors to become the vendor of the PCOS machines to other countries, particularly in Asia—the machines can be sold in Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Bangladesh and Nepal.

“So there is that possibility, kung saka-sakaling mangyari na tatalikuran natin ang PCOS, definitely hindi siya masasayang,” Jimenez said.

The poll body had leased some 82,000 machines from Smartmatic International Corp. for P7.2 billion.

For the 2013 election, the Comelec purchased the machines for P1.8 billion because of the limited budget allocated to the agency.

Jimenez said that technology-wise, the optical mark reader feature of the PCOS machines was the best choice for the Comelec.

He earlier said that the Comelec is still uncertain if there would be automated elections in 2016.

He added that the agency is still waiting for the recommendation of the CAC to come up with a review of the 2013 elections so they can recommend whether to use or junk the PCOS machines for 2016.

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