MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is looking at the possibility of using new technology in the 2025 national elections.
Comelec chairperson George Garcia said Thursday they are planning to integrate the biometrics technology to the new election system they will be using for the 2025 polls.
“The Comelec is considering getting new technology to replace old machines. We are talking about the so-called integration of biometrics technology in the machines. We are complete with biometrics, signature, facial, fingerprint. If these are incorporated as part of the Terms of Reference, it will resolve the issue that a voter can vote from one province to another city,” the poll body chief said in a press briefing.
Garcia, however, said funding is the main concern in determining the type of technology they are going to utilize.
“We always have to factor the budget. If we want specific technology but it’s too expensive, we can’t afford it. Hopefully in 2025, the Comelec will be allowed to use new machines and technology based on the recommendation of the summit, strategic planning.”
The Comelec chairperson noted that they will no longer use the vote counting machines (VCMs).
“The Comelec is really determined to set aside 98,000 VCMs. We are 100 percent sure that we don’t want that machine anymore,” he said.
On the other hand, Garcia added that if they decide to use new machines, they will not buy them but only to lease them.
“Best approach is to lease the machines. Because when you buy, it’s expensive and we don’t have a warehouse yet. If it’s a lease, it’s always new,” he said.
The VCMs were last utilized in the May 2022 polls. It was first used in the 2010 elections.
On the other hand, Vice President Sara Duterte urged the Comelec to consider doing away with the ballot shading or handwriting on ballots during elections.
“As you discuss improvements in the electoral process, maybe we can move to something better than shading the ballots or writing on the ballots,” she said on the second day of the first-ever National Election Summit in Pasay City.
The three-day summit will end on Friday. (PNA)
By Ferdinand Patinio