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Some 1,000 SD cards malfunctioned on election day — Comelec exec Guanzon

The number of SD cards that failed on Monday was almost ten times higher than the number that failed during last elections, according to Commission on Elections Commissioner Rowena Guanzon on Monday.

In an interview in Eleksyon 2019: The GMA News and Public Affairs Special Coverage, Guanzon said that around 1,000 SD cards malfunctioned in this year's election which was notably higher than the 120 defective SD cards that were recorded in the previous polls.

"Kasi nga po 'yung SD cards na 'yan, 'yung supplier bago," she said, adding that the supplier made the lowest bid.

"Kung minsan itong lowest bidder na rule hindi rin ito maganda kasi I suspect doon sa post-qualification ng bidding, magandang SD cards ang binigay ng supplier pero nung nag-supply na siya, syempre mababa 'yung bid niya so ika-cut niya 'yung cost niya," she said.

She said that unlike in previous elections, when the order for items such as SD cards and marking pens were bundled in with the rental of vote counting machines, Comelec this time unbundled the bidding and went with separate suppliers for each item.

Aside from the SD cards, the marking pens that were initially provided by a separate supplier were also faulty, she added.

Guanzon said she would "personally object" to full payment for Comelec's suppliers because of the inconvenience the glitches have caused.

"Susuriin po natin kung saan po sa kontrata sila pwedeng ma-penalty," she said.

The Commissioner also said that she was not satisfied with the utilization of the P980 million-worth Voter's Registration Verification Machines (VRVM) and that she hopes the poll body may improve the use of which in the next elections.

"The intention was good but it doesn't work very well," she said.

Meanwhile, 450 vote counting machines (VCM) nationwide encountered problems on election day, according to Guanzon.

She cited Commissioner Al Parreño as saying that this number of VCM glitches was lower compared to the previous record.

These same VCMs were also used in the previous automated election in 2016.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that the number of glitching VCMs were "still within range" expected by the commission to malfunction. — Dona Magsino/BM, GMA News