Poll machines sent to towns, cities today
Over 4,000 vote-counting machines (VCMs) will be delivered by cargo forwarder 2GO to the local government units of Cebu province amid heavy security starting today.
Final testing and sealing of these machines have been scheduled on May 6, said acting Cebu provincial election supervisor Eliseo Labaria.
He said the venue for the final testing and sealing of VCMs will depend on the local election officer, but will most likely either be in a polling precinct or a centralized location from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the same day.
During transport, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Army will secure the machines just as they secured the official ballots that were delivered to local Commission on Elections (Comelec) offices in the 44 components towns and seven cities of the province yesterday.
With only six days to go before the May 9 elections, Labaria met with more than 30 election officers for a final briefing at the Comelec provincial office yesterday.
“What we are doing right now is giving them final reminders. There are just a few amendments in the instructions,” Labaria told reporters shortly before their meeting.
Among others, the election officers were reminded to keep vote receipts as well as prepare non-accountable election paraphernalia such as scissors and envelopes.
Over 800 boxes filled with ballots were turned over to the Cebu City Treasurer’s Office (CTO). These were personally received by City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas last Monday afternoon.
Boxes containing official ballots will not be coursed through the provincial office of the Comelec, but will be sent straight to local treasury offices in the province.
There are 4,066 VCMs for 4,066 polling precincts in the province, with 55 contingency units in case one of the main units bog down during election day, the bulk of which will be delivered on May 5.
The VCMs are kept by the local election officers while the non-accountable election paraphernalia such as posters indicating cluster precinct numbers, paper seal, certificate of votes, official receipt of election returns, envelopes and other supplies are kept by local treasury offices.
Labaria said they were no longer waiting for any accountable paraphernalia to arrive.
He added that he has already instructed the election officers to check all materials being kept in local treasury and election offices.
Anticipating the hot weather on election day, Labaria said it would be a good idea for volunteers to put up tents where voters can drink water.
“We will discuss that as well. Anyway, the Department of Health is on standby to respond to any medical emergency on that day,” he said.
Labaria added that DOH will place first aid centers and emergency response teams in large voting centers all over the province.
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