ABS-CBN and COMELEC Launches Halalan 2013 Android App

COMELEC Halalan 2013 mobile application (“COMELEC App”) created by ABS-CBN was finally released, which aims to access to election-related information and services through mobile phones and devices running on Android. 

the app requires Android 2.2, assists searching for precincts or polling centers and allows a PINOY voter to check status of his registration and eligibility for the coming 2013 elections. 

check out some screenshots below

see more [play.google.com]

COMELEC Hail PCOS Machine’s Perfect Test Results

IT PINOYs can relax a little bit as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced that the testing of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines had resumed and that the results were “perfect.”

this came after recent news of test failures due to mis-configuration CF cards that caused the PCOS to incorrectly read the ballots.

“Now I am again smiling,” Comelec Chair Jose Melo said. “Elections will go through in all levels, in all precincts. What will happen here is Smartmatic will distribute all the flash cards.”

don’t smile too much, Comelec‘s job is far from over.

calling all IT PINOYs to be vigilant this coming May 10 elections!!!

read more [inquirer.net]

COMELEC Quick Fix Automation Bugs

Philippine’s first ever automated elections could be leading to a major disastrous failure as it was found out that a week before the May 10 elections the CF cards used in the PCOS machines aren’t working!!!!

this came after test results showed the at the CF cards (contains specific precinct information), incorrectly read the names and votes for local contests.

it was said that during the ballot printing, the spacing in the local contests was changed from single to double-spaced  and this caused the CF cards not reading the form correctly!

what duh?! talk about basic I.T. software development lifecycle component – you need to run TESTS on all code changes (or any changes made) before putting it in production!!!

what this entails is redoing work, incur more costs, put more question on the quality of your product, and of course you will have the angst of your clients – in this case the FILIPINO people!!!

“…We’re going to do this no matter how much it costs. It will be our expense. We’re telling you it can be done and it will be successful,” Smartmatic-TIM spokesperson Cesar Flores stressed.  

well, they better fix this ASAP, or else….hmmmm???!!!@#@

read more [inquirer.net]

Philippine Poll Automation 90% Ready

IT PINOY has been following the Philippine Poll Automation for quite some time now, it’s Absentee Overseas voting in Hongkong and Singapore started slow but was relatively smooth.

Philippine President Candidate Senator Manny Villar and his VP candidate Sen. Loren Legarda, got the very first votes cast in the automated system but the results will not be known until after May 10.

although there were some glitches in two precincts in Hongkong, COMELEC is confident saying Philippines is 90% ready for the May 10 polls.

to learn more details how to use the new system, see this video:

know more [comelec.gov.ph]

COMELEC Prepares Against Signal Jammers

there have been a buzz that a huge shipment of signal jammers is to arrive the country, which raises suspicion especially from COMELEC since this might be used against the poll automation

for the IT PINOYs, a signal jammer is a small, low-powered transmitter that interferes with receivers in an area around the jammer. the radius of the area will depend on the power of the jammer. the jammer signal will be “seen” by the receiver and it won’t then be able to “see” the little signal of the remotely located transmitter that it is trying to “look at” before you turn on your jammer.

COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez however stated they have “countermeasures to protect against loss of signal or absence of signal. That is the first thing we are paying attention to.” he further added that there are also anti-jammers that they could use against this possible threat.

read more [sunstar.com]
image nabbed from cache.gizmodo.com

Philippines 2010 Poll Automation Still On

the 2010 Philippine poll automation would push through even with the disqualification of firms bidding to provide automated counting machines, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said yesterday.

“We have not yet reached a situation where we would opt for partial automation. We have yet to declare a failed bidding,” COMELEC chairman Jose Melo stated.

COMELEC last week rejected all seven foreign and local bidders to supply the automation machines due to documentary deficiencies.

yep the story goes on… thought this would be exciting to follow, lets wait and see what’ll happen next!

read more [ph.news.yahoo.com]

Hack and Win 100M

Philippine Senator Alan Peter Cayetano just filed a resolution to grant Php100Mil to IT PINOYs who can hack the automated poll system.

this is in response to COMELEC‘s claims that the automated poll system set to run for next year’s national elections is hack-proof.

COMELEC should cancel the contract, save the P11 billion and sue for damages the contractor in the event of such successful hacking,” the senator said.

there had been long debates in the past about companies paying hackers to show system flaws. and i sincerely think this could be a motivation for “good-intentioned” IT PINOYs to test the system.

however, paying hackers just to deface a system’s vulnerability is also like inviting hungry sharks who are always in the look for a scent of blood! thought we should be mindful of what we’re asking for.

i’m afraid this could also give bad impression especially to the younger IT PINOYs, that there’s money in hacking. the intention is all good but hacking is just pretty strong. of course this is just my five cents!

read more [inquirer.net]

image c/o [sstg.org]

COMELEC Acknowledges Automation Warnings

“There may be legitimate concerns [on automation] but some suspicions paint a scenario na hindi dapat paniwalaan ang automation [that automation should not to be trusted]. It is a closed issue whether or not to push through with automation. We at the Comelec believe it’s about time that we trust the automated system for elections to prevent dagdag-bawas [vote padding and shaving],” Commission on Elections (COMELEC) chairman Jose Melo stated.

i liked the way chairman Melo stood his ground @ the same time acknowledges the concerns/risks made by Computer Professionals Union (CPU) on the poll automation. but in all honestly, how could we prove which system is best for us if we didn’t try atleast once?

read more [inquirer.net]

Philippine Poll Automation

the commission on elections (COMELEC) recently laid out it’s plans to automate the 2010 elections. all i can say is – it’s about time!

did you know that the COMELEC automation law was passed as early as around 1997? RA8436 and later an amendment RA9369, “authorizing the commission on elections to use an automated election system in the may 11, 1998 national or local elections and in subsequent national and local electoral exercises, to encourage transparency, credibility, fairness and accuracy of elections…”

wow that’s almost ten years in the making!! so what happened? why did it take this long?

first there have been questions on which technology would be best to use and of course the bidders themselves had issues as both winners and losers pointed ways to disqualify each other. this also became a political playground for some – there have been rumors such people behind namfrel are related to potential bidders.

now i’m no politician (nor do i like politics) and i don’t know the certainty of the reasons why the COMELEC automation took this long. but as an IT PINOY who have witnessed how far our country has grown in technology, i’m just glad with the recent events and is looking forward that things pushes through in 2010!