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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Resolution No. 9279 - Reception of Multi-Type Voter Applications

Resolution No. 9279
RECEPTION OF MULTI-TYPE OF APPLICATIONS SUCH AS:  
(1) TRANSFER WITH REACTIVATION AND CORRECTION OF ENTRIES; 
(2) REACTIVATION WITH CORRECTION OF ENTRIES; AND (3) TRANSFER WITH CORRECTION OF ENTRIES, IN CONNECTION WITH THE RESUMPTION OF THE SYSTEM OF CONTINUING REGISTRATION OF VOTERS IN THE NON-ARMM AREAS

WHEREAS, in Resolution No. 9149 dated February 22, 2011, the Commission on Elections promulgated Rules and Regulations for the Resumption of the System of Continuing Registration of Voters and Validation of Registration in the Non-ARMM Areas;

WHEREAS, said Resolution covers the reception of applications for registration, transfer from another district/city and municipality, transfer within the same city/municipality, reactivation, reactivation with transfer, reinstatement in the list of voters, inclusion of registration record in the Book of Voters, correction of entries and validation;

WHEREAS, in the first quarter of registration period it was observed that various applicants filed more than one or multi-type of applications with the Office of the Election Officers such as (1) transfer with reactivation and correction of entries, (2) reactivation with correction of entries, (3) and transfer with correction of entries.  The said nature of applications is not covered in the existing rules and regulations and current Voter Registration System (VRS) installed in the voter Registration Machines (VRMs);

WHEREAS, in view of the absence of the rules and regulations and the applicable system to serve the multi-type of applications, the applicants were required to return back to the Office of the Election Officers on the next quarter of registration period to complete the other transaction, thereby causing inconvenience to the voters;

NOW THEREFORE, pursuant to the powers vested in it by the Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code, Republic Act No. 8189 and other related laws, the Commission on Elections has RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES, to adopt the following guidelines, by way of supplemental to the existing rules and regulations in Resolution No. 9149, in order to accommodate multi-type of applications and to avoid inconvenience to the applicant-voters in connection with the continuing registration of voters in Non-ARMM areas:
  
A.   During the registration period, the Election Officers/Acting Election Officers/Election Assistants shall:
  1. Accept and process applications for transfer with reactivation and correction of entries, reactivation with correction of entries; and transfer with correction of entries.  The procedures embodied in Resolution No. 9149 in so far as the manner of the reception, verification of the applications filed and the taking of demographics and biometrics data if necessary shall be strictly observed;
  2. The voter-applicants shall accomplish the prescribed forms corresponding to the types of transaction applied for; and 
  3. The total number of multi-type of applications filed in the Office of the Election Officer shall be reflected in the Quarterly Progress Report.

B.     The Information Technology Department shall facilitate the necessary changes in the program/system to incorporate the above multi-type of applications in the VRM.

Let the Election and Barangay Affairs Department and Information Technology Department implement this Resolution.

SO ORDERED.



SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, JR.
Chairman







RENE V. SARMIENTO
Commissioner

LUCENITO N. TAGLE
Commissioner






ARMANDO C. VELASCO
Commissioner

ELIAS R. YUSOPH
Commissioner






CHRISTIAN ROBERT S. LIM
Commissioner

AUGUSTO C. LAGMAN
Commissioner

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Poll workers stage nationwide streamer hanging to demand salary adjustment

Commission on Elections (COMELEC) employees in the central and field offices will be putting up posters and streamers calling for the adjustment on their salaries during their lunch break on Friday, September, 2011.



Under the auspices of the COMELEC Wage Fight! Alliance, a coalition of poll workers united in pushing for wage increase, the activity aims to “highlight the growing clamour of COMELEC employees for a substantial increase in our salaries.”


“Through the participation of COMELEC rank and file employees in all corners of the country (in the nationally coordinated streamer/poster hanging) we hope to be able to send a strong message that our call has reached the national level,” the group said.



Main Office
Palacio del Gobernad
According to the COMELEC Wage Fight! The calls for tomorrow’s activity include:
  • EQUAL WORK, EQUAL PAY!
  • ITAMA ANG SAHOD SA COMELEC!
  •  CORRECT THE UNJUST WAGE DISPARITY!
  • 3-5 SALARY GRADE INCREASE NOW!
OEO Daraga, Albay
Mac Ramirez, convenor of the COMELEC Wage Fight Alliance, explains that there is a “glaring disparity” in the salary schedule of COMELEC employees as compared to employees in their government agencies.

“The salary that we receive here in the COMELEC is not at par with those received by workers in other government agencies corporations, financial institutions and constitutional bodies.  The disparity ranges from three to five salary grade levels,” he said.

Legazpi City
Ramirez cited for example that a Clerk I position in the COMELEC only has a Salary Grade (SG) level 3, while in other government agencies the lowest SG level for Clerks is SG7.

Election Officers, which holds the sacred responsibility of supervising the conduct of elections at the ground level, are likewise victimized by this glaring wage gap according to Ramirez.

Camarines Sur
“They only hold an SG level 12 (for small electoral municipality) and SG 21 (for capital towns and cities); yet, considering their workload and actual responsibilities, the position of Election Officer is equivalent to that of a Division Chief level which has SG 24.”

POLL WORKERS TO SENATE: “RAISE OUR APPEAL FOR WAGE INCREASE TO BRILLANTES ON CA HEARING”

COMELEC Wage Fight Convenor Armando Mallorca, on September 8, 2011, presents to Chairman Sixto Brillantes the Alliance's position paper on the proposed salary adjustment of COMELEC personnel. Prior to this, COMELEC Wage Fight leaders (Mallorca, Mac Ramirez, Gel Gerardino) discussed our position with the Chairman. The Chairman was open to our proposal and has agreed to set a series of meetings to iron out our salary increase before 2012.
“The imminent increases in petroleum, transportation, toll and water costs more than justifies our appeal for a substantial increase in our salaries.  We hope that the COMELEC, under the leadership of Chairman Sixto Brillantes, would look into the deplorable plight of the COMELEC rank and file and grant our appeal,” Ramirez said.

In support for Nanay & Tatay
Concludes Ramirez: “As the Honourable Chairman is set to appear before the powerful Committee on Appointments next week, we appeal to the Senators to take on the cudgels for the COMELEC rank and file, and raise our demand for a substantial wage increase with Chairman Brillantes as he takes the hot seat for his confirmation hearing.” 

Monday, September 5, 2011

House OKs allocation of P8 billion for 2013 poll automation



MANILA, Philippines - The House appropriations committee has endorsed the allocation of nearly P8 billion for the automation of the May 2013 congressional and local elections.

The amount is 80 percent of the P10-billion 2012 budget of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The money will be for the purchase or lease of computer machines to be used in the casting of ballots and counting of votes.

They would be similar to the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines used in the May 2010 elections.

To save on cost, Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez urged Comelec officials to study whether the PCOS units they leased from Smartmatic, the poll body’s automation contractor, could still be used in 2013 with some safeguards.

He said the Comelec has already paid Smartmatic more than P6 billion and has the option under its contract to purchase the PCOS machines at a discounted price of P1.8 billion.

“If we can use those machines for 2013 and one more national election, we will be saving taxpayers at least P6.2 billion,” he said.

Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman, who was against the use of PCOS in 2010 when he was a private information technology consultant, said it was not practical for the poll body to buy PCOS machines.

He said warehousing would be a problem, plus the fact that technology changes fast.

He added it would be better for the Comelec to lease instead of buying the machines it would use in 2013.

Rodriguez, a member of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET), said he, like Lagman, did not believe in PCOS when the Comelec was trying to convince lawmakers and the public about the technology.

“But now I am a believer. I saw how accurate the PCOS results were when we matched them with the actual count of votes in resolving election protest cases in the HRET. Because of their accuracy, we are now about to resolve all cases,” he said.

Because PCOS tabulation results were available at the municipal, city and provincial levels, Rodriguez said the nation knew in a few days that then Sen. Benigno Aquino III won the 2010 presidential election.

“Long before the official congressional canvass started, we knew President Aquino won. The Filipino people and foreign governments were already congratulating him. Election operators could not tamper with the PCOS. It would have been a different story if the old manual, cheating-prone system were used,” he stressed.

The lawmaker said that if the Comelec decides to use the PCOS, it should put in place additional safeguards since election operators and cheaters might have already studied how the technology works.

Besides the P8 billion in automation funds, the 2012 Comelec budget includes P123.2 million for the resumption of the system of continuing registration.

The poll body sought an additional P51.5 million for preparations for overseas absentee voting, but the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) gave the money to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The Comelec intends to use the bulk of the funds for travel expenses since it would have to send teams to countries where there are large numbers of Filipinos.

The DBM transferred the money to the DFA apparently to save on cost.

COMELEC rushes preps for 2013 polls

To avoid further delay in the preparations for the 2013 elections, the Comelec pushed for the immediate convening of the poll body’s advisory council.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said there is a need for the newly created Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) to immediately convene the Comelec Advisory Council and initiate the first step in election preparations.

“We need to move fast because we are already late (in our preparations) for the 2013 polls. We cannot move without the CAC,” Brillantes said.
Last June, President Aquino issued an order dissolving the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) and reorganizing it into ICTO under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

MalacaƱang named Louis Casambre as the executive director of ICTO. He will sit as chairman of the CAC with members coming one each from the DOST and the Department of Education, and another from academe, three from the IT industry, and two from poll reform groups.

The CAC shall have the function of recommending to the Comelec the “most appropriate, secure, applicable and cost-effective technology” to be used as the automated election system (AES).

“We want to start early and we already have a plan, the CAC should recommend the approval,” Brillantes said. – By: Mayen Jaymalin

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