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Bautista: Comelec pressed for time to ensure automated polls in 2016

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said the first two weeks of August would be very crucial in terms of its preparations for the 2016 elections.

“I would say that the first two weeks of August would really be crucial in respect to the timeline. We have to make decisive decisions during these two weeks in order to meet the timeline,” said Comelec Chairman Jose Andres Bautista in a press briefing on Tuesday.

He noted that they cannot afford to have delays in the preparations including the bidding procedures on the automated election system (AES) to be used in next year’s polls.

“At this point, that’s hypothetical. But I think we cannot afford any more delays. We’ve got to move forward,” Bautista added.

The poll body chief said that further delays would have a “material impact” in their capability to hold credible elections.

“As you know ‘yung means on how we will conduct it... as you know for example in an automated setting it takes time to manufacture the machines. It also takes time to refurbish the machines. It also takes time to have the source code certified…maraming kailangan gawin e. It will materially impact the way we will be conducting our elections in 2016,” he said.

On the other hand, Comelec Commissioner Christian Lim explained that they are already delayed in its original timeline, based on the same calendar used in the previous automated elections.

“We wanted a comparison with the timelines that we had in 2009 compared to now. Definitely, in 2009, they issued a ‘Notice to Proceed’ sometime in June or July. So we are seeing how much (activities) is going to be pushed back,” he said. -NB, GMA News