All ballot boxes for May polls will be in the country before the end of April — Smartmatic

March 10, 2010 10:35 pm 

MANILA, March 10 — All of the 77,000 ballot boxes to be used in the May 10, 2010 national and local elections will arrive in the country before the end of April, according to an official of Smartmatic Corporation.

Cesar Flores, Smartmatic-Asia Pacific president, made the statement as the shipment of the first batch of 5,000 ballot boxes arrived in Manila Tuesday from Taiwan.

“The ballot boxes will arrive in different shipments, mostly of 5,000 boxes per shipment, until the end of April,” he said, adding that the next delivery is arriving on Thursday (March 11).

Flores noted that the Taiwanese factory is capable of producing some 1,500 polypropelene-made ballot boxes per day.

The manufacture of the ballot boxes is separate from the P7.3-billion automation contract of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the lease of the 82,200 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines from Smartmatic.

The contract for the black ballot boxes, worth P243 million, was signed last month.

Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said that all the boxes will be stored at the PhilPost Distribution Center in Manila before they will be shipped to the different polling places nationwide days before the May 10 national and local polls.

“At this point, we are keeping it here at PhilPost,” he said.

The PCOS machines,on the other hand, are presently stored in a warehouse being maintained by Smartmatic in Cabuyao, Laguna.

Larrazabal explained that the forthcoming polls will not need the same number of PCOS machines and ballot boxes.

“You don’t need extra ballot boxes because you just need the machine to slide (the ballots) into the ballot boxes,” he said. (PNA) scs/FGP/utb

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