The Commission on Elections will conduct a massive information campaign to educate voters on the additional features of its Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) to help ensure credible and clean elections on May 9, 2016.
Comelec Director James Jimenez informed the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms chaired by Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro that the Commission will place TV and radio ads to educate the public about the vote counting process and its new feature, which is the issuance of voters’ receipts.
Jimenez said Smartmatic, the provider of the machines, is now working on preventing different risk scenarios including the extension of voting hours and the possible lack of manpower as a result of the addition of the issuance of the voters’ receipt to the voting process.
"What we can assure you is it would be one of the best strategies that we have. We also plan to put posters with instructions in every polling place. We are doing our best to think of effective and creative solutions for the upcoming elections," Jimenez told the committee.
Trained members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) will undergo refresher courses on the issuance of the voters’ receipts while the untrained BEIs will be receiving new instruction materials, said Jimenez.
Jimenez said about P435 million will be spent for the transportation allowances of 185,000 BEI's and payment for the new venues where the training will be conducted.
"Additional wages and overtime pay will also be allocated amounting to an estimated P14 million for the workers who will be testing the VCMs,” he said.
In the case of overseas voters, the Comelec is still finding a solution to prevent the delay in overseas voting. Jimenez added.
He said the VCMs that have already been shipped overseas will not be recalled. The Comelec, Jimenez said, is planning to send Secure Digital (SD) cards containing the new configuration on the issuance of voters’ receipts.
Jimenez said the cost of thermal paper for the voter's receipt is estimated at P600 million.