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DOST to train poll inspectors to use PCOS machines

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will partner with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for the training of election inspectors who will operate the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in the upcoming midterm elections.   The Comelec en banc has approved the training of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) that will man the 77,000 precincts all over the country, according to Helen Aguila-Flores, Comelec’s acting personnel department head, on Thursday. To formalize this, the Comelec will sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the DOST. There is no exact date yet on when the MOA will be signed.   Flores said the training will ensure that at least one of the three election inspectors in every precinct is knows how to operate the PCOS.   Republic Act No. 9369 states that once the automated election system (AES) is adopted, "at least one member of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) shall be an information technology-capable person, who is trained or certified by the DOST to use the AES."   The training will run from two to four days depending on the availability of funds, if the training of the technical support and random manual audit team (RMAT) will be included.   The DOST will give examinations to the BEI on the last day of the training. Those who will pass the training will be given certification by the department.   Unlike in the 2010 elections when it was Smartmatic who hired the technical support team, it will be the Comelec’s duty now to provide technical support. — Amita O. Legaspi/KBK, GMA News