Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Comelec: Machines arriving on time

Manila Bulletin

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday assured the delivery of the remaining precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines before the deadline set by the joint venture Smartmatic and Total Information Management (Smartmatic-TIM) on February 28.

Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said the shipment of the 33,200 PCOS machines have been in transit over the weekend and they are expecting their arrival on February 26.

“All the machines have been shipped and they are in transit right now...so they should be here on the 26th, two days before the deadline,” Larrazabal said.

The Smartmatic-TIM initially pledged to deliver 42,200 PCOS machines by the end of November, 2009 but the schedule was moved by late December due to expensive shipping and traffic problems during the holidays.

Asked about the penalty if it will not make good its promise again, he said Smartmatic-TIM may face a P7.1 million fine for failure to deliver the number of PCOS machines that would be used to automate the national elections this coming May.

“We just have to wait if these (PCOS) machines will really arrive on this date. Everything is shipped out of China,” he added.

So far, nearly close to 49,000 PCOS machines are reportedly stored in a warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna. Some 27,300 were already in transit and the remaining 6,000 back-up machines were delivered last Saturday.

He cited the shipping schedule as the primary reason for the delay in the arrival of the PCOS machines.

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