Smartmatic and more BS
December 31, 2009
Yeah, right. What about vowing honesty?
Smartmatic vows faster delivery
By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 06:13:00 12/31/2009
MANILA, Philippines—Smartmatic Tim Corp., the company that won the contract to supply the machine for the country’s first-ever computerized polls, on Wednesday delivered the first batch of electronic vote counting machines to the Commission on Elections.
Smartmatic turned over to Comelec Chair Jose Melo 4,000 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines that arrived at the North Harbor on Monday. The election machines to be used in the May 10, 2010, national elections were manufactured in China.
Smartmatic president Juan Villa assured Melo that the company would be able to complete the manufacture of all 82,200 machines at their plant in Shanghai by the first week of February.
“They will be ready for shipment by then. It’s a world-class facility what we have in Shanghai. So we won’t have problems with production,” Villa told reporters.
Smartmatic initially planned to produce the machines in Taiwan, but transferred production to China due to concerns over the weather.
The Comelec is paying Smartmatic P7.2 billion to provide the election equipment before the end of February.
Villa said the company can deliver about 10,000 machines a week to meet its Feb. 21 deadline.
“We will be delivering at the rate of 9,600 PCOS units every week, starting next week, until the end of February. Our target is to deliver all the 82,000 machines one week ahead of schedule,” Villa said.
The initial 4,000 PCOS machines were shown to the media on Wednesday. They were in five cargo trucks and were personally inspected by Melo and other Comelec officials.
Earlier in the day, an additional 3,200 PCOS machines were reported to have arrived in Manila and were to be turned over shortly.
The 7,200 PCOS units that have arrived in the country are still 35,000 short of the original target of 42,000 units to be delivered by the end of 2009.
Lawmakers and election stakeholders recently expressed apprehension that Smartmatic was way behind schedule in the delivery of the machines, and this could cut the time for testing the hardware and software.
But Melo quashed fears of a delay in the implementation of the automated polls.
“Our level of confidence has gone up. I’ve been telling the Smartmatic-TIM officials, ‘I have to see the machines before they get paid,’” Melo said.
Melo said the machines would be sent to a secure warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna, where they will be tested. They would be shipped to regional Comelec hubs by April.
“So that they will be nearer the precincts, they will be dispersed all over the country,” Melo said.