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AS MAY 9 NEARS

60 percent of 92,000 VCMs completed —Comelec


More than half of the 92,000 voting and counting machines being put together at the Commission on Elections operations center in Laguna have been completed, some of them already being shipped to regional hubs across the country.

Comelec Steering Committee head Commissioner Christian Robert Lim said 60 percent or 51,000 of the 92,000 VCMs are ready, some for delivery in far-flung areas, with less than a month to go before the national elections on May 9.

Lim said the operations center expects to complete all 92,000 VCMs by April 29.

It is at the operations center where VCMs ate programmed and all other election paraphernalia like marking pens and thermal papers for boter receipts are packed.

Hundreds of contractual workers are manning the operations center working on 8 hour to 12 hour shifts.

Terminals of the broadband global area network (BGAN) satellite system are also received and tested at the Sta. Rosa, Laguna plant. BGANs will be used to transmit election results in areas where there is either weak or zero signal.

Some 6,000 voting centers are not covered by transmission signals of the three major telecommunications companies in the country, Lim said.

Workers from Ventures Link which was contracted by technology provider Smartmatic Inc. earn a little over P400 for eight hours of work with extra pay for overtime. They were recruited from nearby areas in Laguna. —NB, GMA News

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