Namfrel: Comelec to spend more maintenance cost on VCMs

Reference:
Naval, G. (2018, February 05). Namfrel: Comelec to spend more maintenance cost on VCMs. Malaya Business Insight. Retrieved February 5, 2018 from http://malaya.com.ph/business-news/news/namfrel-comelec-spend-more-maintenance-cost-vcms

Namfrel: Comelec to spend more maintenance cost on VCMs
By GERARD NAVAL
February 05, 2018

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) would be saving more taxpayers’ money by leasing the 97,517 vote-counting machines (VCMs) used in the 2016 elections, instead of buying them for reuse in the 2019 midterm polls, the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) said yesterday.

Comelec has said it decided to exercise the option-to-purchase (OTP) clause in its lease contract with Smartmatic International for the VCM units, which it will acquire for P2.1 billion, due to the limited funding given by the Department of Budget and Management.

In an interview, Namfrel Secretary General Eric Alvia said he believes there are better choices available for the Comelec instead of exercising the option-to-purchase clause it has with Smartmatic International.

“Better that the VCMs be leased than exercise the option to purchase since other attendant costs, such as maintenance and storage, would not be shouldered by Comelec,” said Alvia.

“All this overhead cost – not to mention obsolescence – might have been avoided if lease and using new technologies/hybrid technologies was considered,” he added.

He said Comelec should not have prioritized the cost factor to the integrity or performance of the election system.

Nevertheless, Alvia said Namfrel is not fully against the acquisition of the VCMs since it underwent the right process.

“This was an en banc decision with recommendations from the Comelec Advisory Council (CAC),” he said.

Category: National | Malaya Business Insight

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