MANILA — With the acquisition of new vote counting machines (VCMs), an accredited citizens’ arm of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the 2016 national and local elections on Saturday launched a public demonstration of the units that will be used in the forthcoming polls.
The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) initiated the first public demo at the Cardinal Sin Auditorium of the Paco Catholic School in Manila on November 21.
According to Henrietta de Villa, PPCRV national chairperson, the initiative aims to familiarize the public particularly young voters on how the machine works.
“As part of our task to educate the voters, we also want to introduce to the people the VCM for them to learn more about it and for them to know what they will be using in next year’s elections,” she said in an interview.
The PPCRV head has requested to the Comelec and Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM), manufacturer of the voting machine, to provide them one machine for Saturday’s public demo.
De Villa said those were invited to the demo where from the Archdiocese of Manila, including the Pasay, Mandaluyong dioceses.
She noted that the same activity will be held next week in Cubao for the elders.
“Initial demo dito sa November 26 sa Cubao involving 3 vicariates…ito naman for the elders,” the PPCRV chief said.She added that they also plan to bring such activity to the provinces, “Sa November 30 dadalhin sa Legaspi. Para bigyan ng bagong kompyansa ang tao sa bagong makina.”
De Villa said that the public demo would also serve as training for possible poll watchers.
“Yes parang training na rin sa kanila at isa pa para sa mga bata magkaroon sila mas angat ang interest. Alam mo naman mga bata hindi tulad ng matatanda, interested sa technology pero takot sila sa technology. Ang bata hindi. Excited kapag sa technology lalo na sa machines,” she explained.
The Comelec will be leasing a total of 97,517 VCM to be used in the May 9, 2016 polls. Ferdinand G. Patinio/PNA