Comelec satisfied with PCOS field tests


MANILA, Philippines—Except for the slow transmission of test results in some areas, the Commission on Elections  reported Saturday that the field tests conducted on the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in different places in the country was successful.

According to Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, he considered Saturday’s field tests a success because the electronic transmission of data went well with majority of the PCOS machines transmitting test results 100 percent.

“We are satisfied with the test,” Jimenez said.

He explained that the machines that have yet to fully transmit results could not be considered failures  right away because there were  contingency measures in place.

“We don’t call it a failure because we have a contingency such as replacing the SIM card,” Jimenez said, adding that the field tests somehow gave them an idea of what they can expect from the electronic transmission come the May 2013 elections.

The field tests were conducted in the National Capital Region, particularly Taguig and Pateros; Benguet, Palawan, Cebu, Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao del Sur, South Cotabato, Maguindanao, and Antique.

The procedure tested  the capability of the PCOS machines to transmit the results of the elections, Jimenez said, adding that the field tests were aimed at simulating the automation stages on Election Day and allowing  the election body to improve the system.

“The purpose of the field test is to check the transmission of data from precinct PCOS to the municipal and then from the municipal to the central server plus PCOS to central… all the transmissions of the PCOS to municipality 100 percent,” he said in an interview.

“From municipal to central, I think there are only four that have yet to fully transmit out of the 18 municipalities, so 14 transmitted 100 percent. From PCOS to central 36 (areas), 8 have yet to fully transmit, so 36 minus 8 that means 28 transmitted 100 percent,” added Jimenez.

“This is a very good indication because our downstream or the PCOS to municipal is in very good shape—we think that because of its performance we are more confident with the electronic transmission,” he said.

Meanwhile,  the Automated Election System (AES) Watch scored the Comelec for not allowing the media to observe the field tests.

In a letter to Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes and his commissioners, AES Watch asked why the Comelec treated the tests as an internal matter, saying it was important for the public to observe the critical process of testing the reliability of the PCOS machines in transmitting results.

Jimenez urged those groups who are complaining for not being able to witness the field tests to just observe the mock elections slated for next week.

“We did not allow coverage at this point because a lot of activities involved in field testing are internal to the system,” said Jimenez. “We think it’s not that critical at this stage because it’s precisely part of the shakedown process. That’s why we’re opening the mock polls to everyone. Whatever is the result of the field test will be seen during the mock polls and it will be seen in the right context, unlike now when you will just observe the transmission of results.”

He said the Comelec was open to the idea of conducting another field test.

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  • Nic Legaspi

    Baka naman kasi GLOBE ang simcard na gamit nyan? E no wonder hindi makapagtransmit ng data!

  • Your_King

    The machines had problems to begin and the testing was done internally without the media or anyone to support if the machines really did work…so in reality who knows what it means when they say that they are satisfied. Padaca who is Aquino’s hand picked Comelec Commish is there and she has a questionable character with graft cases against her so it will be unknown what transpires during the elections. 

  • hklt0110

    Hindi na kasi narenew si dating Comm. Gus Lagman, isa pa naman sa magagaling pagdating sa Telecommunication at Technology at ang lahat na consultant nya ay mga veterans sa ICT. Isa sya sa mga tumututol sa PCOS na yan at sa paggamit ng mga mobile internet. Isa sanang pinapasa ni Comm. Gus ay ang pagkakaroon ng sariling infra network ng Comelec para maging total independent sa mga telco’s. Kaso nangunguna ang lagi sa atin ang pagiging kurakot.:D

  • Cerise David

    “majority of the PCOS machines transmitting test results 100 percent” – what?

    4 out of 18 and 8 out of 36?  Ano ba yan!  Ask any telecom engineer, 1 not transmitting in a test environment is already a full-blown failure.  Sa mga panahon ngayon, ang test criteria ay 99.99% AVAILABILITY, meaning continuous connection dapat, no single point of failure, antayin nilang madisconnect after one week of continuous operation.

    Palitan daw ng SIM card? Patawa.

    • hklt0110

      Ang nagsalita nyan ay isang Abogado..ha ha ha.

  • wawangpenoy

    “We don’t call it a failure because we have a contingency such as replacing the SIM card,” .

    Hmmmm. I wonder if this SIM card is rather a progam card that will alter the result? Why was media not allowed? I don’t buy Jiminez’ explanation. And correct me if I am wrong. I’ve never heard or read anything that an independent group have ever been given the chance to test the programs and find out how they are loaded to each PCOS machines.

    Something fishy…. no, not Brilliantes. He may stink like a fish but not him.

  • basilionisisa

    sana after Comelec tested the software and the machines and they were happy with it, they demonstrated it to Journalists and media people (ok lang na hindi sila invited sa actual testing), and then answered their questions and perhaps even made them try it for themselves (malay natin kung may madiscover silang mali dito na naoverlook ng Comelec testers), bago mag-mock elections.

    Anyway, sana sa mock election, media people and other interested parties (programmers, etc) join and try to ‘break’ the application and produce errors or malfunctions on the machines. That would be nice if they are able to.

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