MANILA, Philippines - Just like in the 2010 elections, the winners of this year’s electoral exercise will be known within 48 hours after voting ends, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) declared yesterday.
“Within 48 hours, more or less, we’ll know the winners. In the municipal and city level, like what happened in 2010, within 24 hours everything was finished, winners were already known,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said.
Brillantes said Comelec had revised its policies on the proclamation of winners on May 13.
“The system before was that all precinct results must come out before you can proclaim. We changed that, it’s one of the enhancements that we’ve done under the PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines system,” he said.
But for the next month’s elections, winners could be proclaimed “if the un-transmitted results will no longer affect the total results” of the elections.
“Now you can proclaim without waiting for all results to be completed. Before, if the results (in one polling precinct) are pending, you can’t proclaim. That was unreasonable,” Brillantes said.
For decades when the country’s elections were done manually, results of the winners of national elective post would be known only after three weeks to one month.
This provided opportunity for cheating and other forms of manipulation of poll results.
To make the elections more secure and credible, the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) signed memorandum of agreements with the Comelec.
Brillantes said there will be more teachers – 240,000 in all – who will serve as members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) and he assured them that “they will be properly compensated.”
There were 229,000 BEIs in the May 2010 presidential elections.
Under the agreement, Comelec will provide each BEI with P3,000 honorarium, P500 allowance for the testing and sealing of the PCOS machines, and P500 transportation allowance.
Supervisors will get an additional P1,500 allowance.
The Comelec has allocated some P30 million for insurance and other benefits in case of injuries or death involving the BEIs.
The poll body has allocated P200,000 for the heirs of the BEIs in case of death in the performance of their duties.
Brillantes also assured the DepEd that the BEIs will receive an allowance in addition to their basic salary should there be savings in the budget for the midterm elections.
He gave the assurance during the signing of the memorandum of agreement at the DepEd main office in Pasig City yesterday.
Meanwhile, the DepEd also signed a separate agreement with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure the safety of BEIs, especially in areas declared as election hotspots.
The DepEd also forged an agreement with the IBP for the provision of free legal assistance to BEIs who may face harassment by way of lawsuits.
An average of 100 BEIs are subject to various charges during elections, according to DepEd Undersecretary Albert Muyot.
“The problem in the past was at the start of the hearings, there are no lawyers to represent the BEIs,” Muyot said.
Vicente Joyas, IBP governor for Southern Luzon, assured the teachers that they would receive the necessary legal assistance.
He said the IBP would deploy at least five lawyers in its 85 chapters nationwide to help the teachers.
On campaign motorcades
Comelec also declared they would be imposing a tighter regulation on campaign motorcades of candidates, particularly in Metro Manila.
Brillantes said they followed the recommendations of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to keep candidates away from 22 major thoroughfares.
These are EDSA; C-5; Quezon Avenue; Marcos Highway; Commonwealth Avenue; España Boulevard; E. Rodriguez, Sr. Avenue; Ramon Magsaysay Avenue; President Quirino Avenue; Aurora Boulevard; Ortigas Avenue; Shaw Boulevard; MIA Road; Domestic Road; Andrews Avenue; South Super Highway; Taft Avenue; Roxas Boulevard; Araneta Avenue; A.H. Lacson Street; Rizal Avenue; and A. Bonifacio Avenue.