The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in Palawan has set the testing and sealing of all the vote accepting machines (VCM) on May 7.
Jomel Ordas, the spokesperson of COMELEC in the province, said the VCMs and other election materials started to arrive in Puerto Princesa City on May 1. The rest will be delivered until May 6.
“Ang delivery ng VCM at iba pang paraphernalia ay ongoing na simula noong May 1 hanggang 6. Ang mga VCMs, ballot boxes, VCM batteries ay ide-deliver ng Air21 direct sa polling precincts not later than May 6 kasi sa May 7 ang final testing and sealing na gagawin sa mga polling precincts,” Ordas said.
He added the VCM will be tested to send data immediately to the city or provincial board of canvassers and to the transparency servers in their Central Office in Manila.
He said other materials should be delivered by the municipal treasurer’s or election officers to polling precincts before the election day.
He added that COMELEC is targeting to start the voting at 6 a.m.
Accountable and non-accountable election supplies such as the official ballots and inks will be delivered to the respective treasurer’s office while the list of voters and electoral boards appointment forms will be delivered to the election officers.
“Lahat ng supplies na ito ay ide-deliver ng MTO or EO sa polling precincts madaling araw ng May 13 o kung nagrequest sila ng early delivery ay sa May 12 naman ide-deliver. Target kasi natin na 6a.m. ng dapat simula na ang botohan,” he said.
All the official functions of the electoral board will start on May 6 as the VCMs need to be secured until the election day.
The COMELEC will be the only responsible office for the VCMs, he said.
“Yes [sila lang ang responsible dito], after ng final testing and sealing sa May 7, ay ise-seal uli ang mga vcm at ilalagay sa iisang location sa loob ng voting center na secured ng mga electoral board (eb) member katulong ang PNP. Gagalawin lang ito ulit sa araw ng election,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Police Capt. Ric Ramos, the spokesperson of the Palawan Provincial Police Office (PPO), said that the police will secure the election paraphernalia 24/7 starting May 6 until the election day.
“Handa na ang mga pulis natin dahil ito naman ang ating mandato ang bantayan. ‘Yan ang pinakamahalaga na dapat bantayan ng maigi at walang makagagalaw na iba [ng election paraphernalias]. Dapat laging safe at nasa mata ng mga pulis natin mula delivery hanggang retrieval ay nandyan tayo para i-secure,” he said.
Ramos said the PPPO has already sent additional police forces to areas classified as areas of concern.
These are the municipalities of Bataraza, Brooke’s Point, Quezon, and Roxas.
“Lahat po ng station ay nagdagdag ng pwersa [sa mga election area of concern] para matiyak natin ang maayos na halalan. Nag-augment po ang PPPO ng mga tao dyan kasama ang AFP. Isa itong malaking hamon at nakikita natin na matinding puyatan po ito at kailangan bantayan,” he said.