Comelec may resort to selling PCOS machines

By , on April 27, 2015

PCOS Maching. Photo from Yugatech.
PCOS Maching. Photo from Yugatech.

MANILA — The Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines will be up for sale once the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decides not to use them in the May 2016 national and local polls.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said that they can retire the 81,000 PCOS units that were used in the 2010 and 2013 elections if the machines are no longer included in their choices of automated election system (AES) for next year’s polls.

“Kunwari mauwi tayo sa situation na yung makina hindi na mare-refurbish, balak namin na ibenta na siya. So pina-assess na namin yan and we have a good idea of the value of it. Kung talagang hindi siya magagamit, then we can recover value from it,” he said.

Jimenez noted that they already know how to get rid of units by selling them to other countries or dispose its parts.

“Pagbenta can be one of two things. Either ibenta mo siya as a system to some other country that wants to use it or we are gonna scrap it for parts so you can retrieve value from it,” he said.

The poll body official added, “There is still a possibility of selling it as a system. Kailangan lang na maghanap tayo ng bansa na mako-convince natin na okay ito.”

Among the countries that are being eyed as possible buyers are Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

On the other hand, Jimenez said that based on Commission on Audit (COA) rules they can dispose PCOS units by chopping and selling its parts.

“As allowed by the COA rules, disposal o katay. You are gonna scrap it for parts so you can retrieve value from it. We can actually do that legally because of the rules on depreciation,” he said.

However, Jimenez said that proceeds of the sale of several parts of the machines were not so big.

Not using the PCOS machines in the 2016 polls is likely to happen after the Supreme Court (SC) unanimously junked the negotiated deal for the refurbishment of the machines between the Comelec and Smartmatic – Total Information Management (TIM) Corporation last week.

The Comelec continuously looking at some alternative methods such as holding a public bidding for the PCOS repair, using only the new voting machines they are leasing, adopting the open election system, or a return to the manual elections, which they will utilize in the 2016 polls.