BARRING major problems, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is confident that it will be able to determine the winning candidates a few days after the end of the voting period on May 9.
Chairman Juan Andres Bautista on Wednesday said the proclamation of the winners will depend on how fast the election results will be transmitted to the provincial board of canvassers for local candidates, and to the national board of canvassers for national positions.
Congress will canvass the votes for president and vice president, and the Comelec for the senatorial candidates and party-list groups.
Under its contract with the Comelec, technology provider Smartmatic should be able transmit voting results within 24 hours after the close of the polling precincts.
Bautista said that election results should be known not more than three days after the elections.
The Comelec, he said, is aiming for a 100 percent transmission rate, but poll officials will be happy with 90 percent transmission rate.
“In 2010 the transmission rate was 90 percent but (it) went down to 76 percent in 2013 which slowed down the proclamation of winning candidates. But we are doing our best to achieve a 90 percent transmission rate,” Bautista said.
The Church-based election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) has expressed concern over the transmission of election results, stressing that it did not want a repeat of what happened in 2013 when only 74 percent of the precinct count optical scanning (PCOS) machines were able to transmit data to the transparency server.
“That meant that we were blind to 12 million votes,” the group said.
The Comelec uses two modes of transmission — by broadband global area network (BGAN) satellite system and by cellular data using the facilities of telecom networks using a subscriber identity module or SIM card inserted inside the vote counting machine (VCM).
Smartmatic spokesperson Karen Jimeno said that their goal is 100 percent transmission rate but admitted that it is highly improbable.
“Even the Automated Election System Law has visualized that the scenario that it would not be a 100 percent transmission rate,” Jimeno said.