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Sunday, July 31, 2011

COMELEC Chairman Brillantes promotes early voter registration at LRT

Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes Jr. this morning rode the Light Rail Transit (LRT) to drive home the poll body’s call for the Filipino public to register as voters.

Brillantes was at the Recto Station of the LRT Line 2 Friday, 29 July 2011, to inspect the installation of COMELEC posters and streamers at LRT stations and terminals.

Saying that he wanted to personally talk to the commuting public, the 72 year old poll chief asked representatives from the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) if he could ride the LRT to return to his office in Intramuros Manila.

LRTA officials told the COMELEC Chairman that if he wanted to ride a train to the LRT Line 1 Central Terminal in Arroceros, Manila, which is the LRT station nearest the COMELEC Office, he would have to walk for about five minutes to reach the Doroteo Jose Station of the LRT line 1.

Brillantes gamely obliged, saying that he doesn’t mind the long walk as he misses riding the train.

Upon reaching the Doroteo Jose Station, Brillantes boarded a coach meant for females, children, persons with disabilities (PWDs) and senior citizens. He refused offers from people for the Chairman to take their seats.

“I wanted to personally tell the LRT commuters to register and register early. People should not wait for the deadline before they go to COMELEC offices to register,” Brillantes said.

“This is also a call for the public to patronize the LRT, not only because riding its trains are good for the environment, the LRT is also strong supporter of the Filipino people’s right to suffrage.”

Brillantes said that the LRTA allowed the COMELEC to post voter registration posters and streamers at all LRT stations and terminals.

Monday, July 25, 2011

COMELEC eyes own poll technology for 2013 elections

COMELEC COMMISSIONER AUGUSTO LAGMAN

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will develop its own canvassing and consolidation system for automated 2013 mid-term polls as part of a five-year program that it will put in place under the Aquino administration.

Comelec Commissioner Augusto Lagman said the agency intends to tap “Filipino-developed” technology for the canvassing and consolidation of ballots when it holds the 2013 polls.

“We like Filipino-developed technology to be used. We want the Comelec to be more involved in the implementation of election and so one very important aspect is to upgrade the information technology (IT) competence of the in-house personnel,” Lagman said.

Under the Comelec Strategic Plan 2011-2016 (Comstrat), the poll body will “enhance the IT capability of Comelec to support the conduct of modernized, efficient, transparent and credible elections and election adjudication.”

The poll body intends to strengthen the capability of election personnel for information and communication technology.  This will be done by hiring IT experts and by submitting personnel from the main and field offices to IT proficiency training.

Comstrat serves as the blueprint of Comelec’s efforts to modernize, reform and redeem the integrity of the agency.

“One very important step is to upgrade the IT competence of the in-house personnel.  That’s number one in our list,” said Lagman

“We are lining up a list of training courses that they (employees) would undergo so that they could upgrade their (IT) competence and capability,” he added.

Lagman, however, clarified that their initial plan will be to develop their own “back-end” system but not the “front-end” yet.

He noted that the back-end is composed of the consolidation and canvassing part while the front-end are the voting, counting and transmission.

“(It is) because canvassing and consolidation does not change no matter what front-end system we adopt.  Whether it is Optical Mark Reader, Precinct Count Optical Scan, Direct Recording Electronic, even manual… no matter what front-end we use, we’ll all use the same canvassing and consolidation system,” explained Lagman, who was an IT expert prior to his appointment to the commission.

Lagman noted that canvassing and consolidation – the “back-end” aspect of the election – “do not change no matter what technology for front-end system we adopt.”

“Whether it is optical mark reader (OMR), precinct count optical scan (PCOS) and direct recording electronic (DRE).  No matter what (front-end) system we use, even manual, we’ll all use the same canvassing and consolidation system,” he said, referring to technologies that were leased by the Comelec for use in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in 2008 and in the May 2010 presidential 

“We’d like the Comelec to develop that part of the system.  And we want to own it because it can be used from one election to the other election. It’s the Comelec which will master the running part of that,” Lagman maintained.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

R.A. No. 10153 - Law to postpone August 8 ARMM Elections

Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
Metro Manila

Fifteenth Congress
First Regular Session

Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-sixth day of July, two thousand ten.

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10153

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE SYNCHRONIZATION OF THE ELECTIONS IN THE AUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO (ARMM) WITH THE NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTIONS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Declaration of Policy. In accordance with the intent and mandate of the Constitution and Republic Act No. 7166, entitled: “An Act Providing for Synchronized National and Local Elections and for Electoral Reforms, Authorizing Appropriations Therefor, and for Other Purposes”, it is hereby declared the policy of the State to synchronize national and local elections.  Pursuant thereto, the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is hereby synchronized with the national and local elections as hereinafter provided.

SEC. 2. Regular Elections.The regular elections for the Regional Governor, Regional Vice Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) shall be held on the second (2nd) Monday of May 2013.  Succeeding regular elections shall be held on the same date every three (3) years thereafter.

SEC. 3. Appointment of Officers-in-Charge.The President shall appoint officers-in-charge for the Office of the Regional Governor, Regional Vice Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly who shall perform the functions pertaining to the said offices until the officials duly elected in the May 2013 elections shall have qualified and assumed office.

SEC. 4. Manner and Procedure of Appointing Officers-in-Charge.There shall be created a screening committee, whose members shall be appointed by the President, which shall screen and recommend, in consultation with the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate President, the persons who will be appointed as Officers-in-Charge.

SEC. 5. Qualifications.No person shall be appointed officer-in-charge unless he or she complies with the qualifications for Regional Governor, Regional Vice Governor or Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly of the ARMM, as provided in Republic Act No. 6734, entitled: “An Act Providing for an Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao”, as amended by Republic Act No. 9054, entitled: “As Act to Strengthen and Expand the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 6734″.

SEC. 6. Study and Review of the Organic Act.The appointed Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly of the ARMM shall conduct a study and review of Republic Act No. 9054 and submit recommendations to the Congress of the Philippines within six (6) months from their assumption into office.

SEC. 7. Separability Clause.In the event any part or provision of this Act is held invalid or unconstitutional, other provisions not affected thereby shall remain in force and effect.

SEC. 8. Repealing Clause.Republic Act No. 9333 is hereby repealed. All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations and other issuances or parts thereof which are inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

SEC. 9. Effectivity Clause.This Act shall take effect immediately upon the completion, of its publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Approved,

(Sgd.) JUAN PONCE ENRILE
President of the Senate
(Sgd.) FELICIANO BELMONTE JR.
Speaker of the House of Representatives

This Act which originated in the House of Representatives was finally passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on June 7, 2011 and June 6,2011, respectively.

(Sgd.) EMMA LIRIO-REYES
Secretary of the Senate
(Sgd.) MARILYN B. BARUA-YAP
Secretary General
House of Representatives

Approved: June 30, 2011

( Sgd.) BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines

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