Commission on Elections (Comelec) Spokesperson, and Information and Education Division Director James Jimenez assured that the PCOS system to be used in the coming elections is secure, fast, and accurate.
He said this during the Forum of the Association of Information Officers in Metro Manila (AIMM) held Thursday at the San Juan City Government Multi-Purpose Hall.
In his presentation, Jimenez explained the features of the PCOS or the Precinct Count Optical Scan—the configuration to be used in the midterm automated election set in May this year.
He explained that the PCOS is made of ultraviolet (UV) sensors which detect security marks. The said sensors will be able to check the authenticity of the ballots, forcing it to eject the ballot if it sensed it to be fake.
He also added that the PCOS has a dual back-up system which records the image of the ballot fed in the machine. It has a sort of a camera which takes snapshots of the ballots fed in the machine.
This back-up could be used in verifying, counterchecking, or recounting of the ballots.
Given these features, Jimenez reaffirmed that the PCOS is much safer, faster, and more accurate as compared to the traditional manual system, which could be easily tampered.
It also takes more time to get the results in the manual voting compared to the PCOS which could take as fast as 15 minutes to get the total number of votes per precinct.
To ensure the security of the PCOS machines, these are checked thrice prior to the actual election: at the Comelec before deployment to election precincts, upon deployment, and on election day.
Meanwhile, the Department of Science of Technology (DOST) is planning to develop a locally-made election machine that could be used in the next elections.
The forum was participated by information officers of various local government units and national government agencies in the Nation Capital Region who are members of the AIMM.
Also present during the event was Undersecretary Fortunato dela Pena of the DOST.