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Old counting machines extend Comelec service

Alvin Murcia

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has spent P1 billion to refurbish old vote counting machines (VCM) that have served three automated elections in the past.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez on Monday disclosed that 110,000 VCM units will be employed for the 2022 national and local elections.

Jimenez said they needed to refurbish the existing machines as the poll body has no available funds to purchase new VCM for the coming polls.

The Comelec, he said, has funds for the initial preparations for the elections, like the printing of ballots and other necessities. But the whole budget for the payment of personnel, teachers and the like would only be released next year.

The Commission has yet to determine the number of teachers it will engage.

Strict implementation of social distancing in the conduct of the campaigning will also be enforced. Jimenez said the poll body will be coordinating closely with the local government units to ensure the health protocols are followed.

There’s no decision yet whether house-to-house campaigning will be allowed.

“Guidelines on the use of social media will be laid down, and we will make sure it is effective since politicians may utilize this medium of campaigning due to the impending ban on house-to-house campaigning,” Jimenez said.

The Comelec official also disclosed coordination with the various social media sites have been made before the guidelines on Internet employment are released,

Meanwhile, Jimenez also said that the registration of new voters and the overseas Filipino Workers have been extended from Tuesday to Saturday at 8 to 5 p.m.

Only 1.9 million voters have registered with the poll body that aims to list 4 to 5 million new registrants.

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