Comelec in Pangasinan now 98% ready for polls

May 1, 2013 11:21 pm 

DAGUPAN CITY, Pangasinan, May 1 —- The Provincial Elections Office has announced it is now 98 percent ready for the elections on May 13 as all the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines and voter’s information sheets had already arrived.

Lawyer Marino Salas, provincial elections supervisor, confirmed that at least 2, 364 PCOS machines which will be used during the elections were already delivered by Air21, the official carrier of the machines in the three cities of the province chosen as PCOS hubs since last week.

These are now deposited temporarily in Dagupan, Urdaneta and Alaminos cities before their final delivery to each precinct.

Salas said the remaining two percent in their preparation is the final sealing and testing of the PCOS machines which will be made on May 3, 4 and 5.

“We are just waiting for the materials to be used in the sealing and testing of the machines”, Salas said.

At the same time, he said that as part of the commission’s preparation, officials of the provincial Comelec office including election officers from the 44 towns and 4 cities in the province attended the five hour recollection officiated by Archbishop Socrates Villegas last April 29.

The recollection aimed to prepare the election personnel spiritually so that they can handle their jobs well during the elections.

Among the other attendees were Department of Education (DepEd) officials, members of the Board of Election Inspectors, chiefs of police in the entire province and provincial and regional command officers of the PNP.

Moreover, contingency plans were also laid down in case of technical problems concerning the PCOS machines, taking into consideration of the possible use of signal jammers by unscrupulous persons and machine shutdown due to excessive heat.

“The technicians were already advised to provide ventilation for the machines although we also made sure that we have extra machines,” Salas said.

Meanwhile, Salas admitted that there will be intensified police visibility and frequent checkpoints as the polls draw near.

Meanwhile, more Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and PNP personnel will be deployed in the province as part of the augmentation coming from the different government agencies since Pangasinan was tagged as one of the areas of concern.

These are just part of the preventive measures taken by the Comelec and its deputies to ensure peaceful and orderly elections in the province according to Salas.

“We should not be afraid because the additional policemen and soldiers we have will protect us so that no untoward incident will happen during the election," (PNA)

LAP/LVM/HILDA MARTIN AUSTRIA/

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