TRACKING SYSTEM OF VOTING MACHINES
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) was asked to put in place a tracking system to ensure an orderly transport of voting machines for next year's national elections by Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind).
"We have to assure the people that the machines, which have already been tested, will be delivered to a certain polling place at a particular time," he said.
Gordon, "father" of election modernization in the Philippines, authored Republic Act (RA) 9369 or the amended Automated Elections System Law.
The lawmaker, a strong advocate of honest, orderly and peaceful elections, said the tracking system would complement the use of cargo forwarders to deliver the machines to all polling precincts.
Delivery of the machines, called precinct count optical scans, was committed by the consortium of Smartmatic International Corp. and Total Information Management Technology Inc. in its contract signed with the Comelec.
The consortium earlier said that instead of one, it would tap a number of cargo forwarders to speed up the transport of the machines to the polling centers nationwide.
Gordon said he favored the tapping of the services of a number of forwarders, saying it would foster competition and prompt efficient shipment of the machines.
"Since there will be several forwarders instead of just one, they would now compete in the sense that each one will give its best shot by delivering fast and efficiently. They would not want to be criticized and told that the others were better," he added.
Gordon said, however, the Comelec should know where these machines are at any given time. "That is why, there should be a tracking system. If you can have GPS (global positioning system), that would be better," he said.