COMELEC turns over 97,366 leased OMR machines and EMS to Smartmatic-TIM

The Commission on Elections on November 29, 2016 turned over 97,366 units of Optical Mark Reader (OMR) Machines and Election Management Systems (EMS), including accessories not purchased by the Commission, used in the May 9, 2016 National and Local Elections to poll technology provider Smartmatic-TIM. The Commission, however, retained 151 units of OMR machines in view of a Resolution dated November 22, 2016 issued by the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET). In a Resolution dated November 8, 2016, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) modified the Precautionary Protection Order (PPO) such that election materials and paraphernalia used during the May 9, 2016 NLE, which do not contain election results data, as enumerated in the Commission's Letter dated August 10, 2016, are excluded from the coverage of the PPO. Moreover, the PET authorized the Commission and Smartmatic to immediately conduct closure stripping activities for all Vote Counting Machines (VCM) and Consolidation/Canvassing System (CCS) kits provided prior notice to the Tribunal, the parties, and other stakeholders. "We officially turned over the leased goods to Smartmatic since the Commission en banc has already decided not to exercise its option to purchase," Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said. Under two Contracts of Lease with Option to Purchase entered into by the Commission with Smartmatic, all goods subject thereof that are in the possession of Comelec as of December 1, 2016 shall be considered sold pursuant to Comelec's option to purchase.

Source: Philippine Information Agency