PPCRV: Manual elections ‘backwards,’ ‘won’t solve problems’

Published May 15, 2019, 9:26 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Minka Klaudia Tiangco

An official from the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said reverting to manual elections is “backward” and will not solve the issues hounding the automated election system.

Following the glitch in the transparency server which caused the delay of the release of election results, some are calling for a manual recount and to go back to the manual election system.

However, PPCRV National Chairperson Myla Villanueva said it would be difficult to revert to manual elections now that people are more used to technology.

“Why will we go back to manual when we are so used to automated?” she said.

“We have people who are so used to automated. It’s moving back, it’s not solving the problem. It’s moving backward in time instead of moving forward in time, it’s not solving the problem,” she added.

The PPCRV official said the automated election system is “working” and the results are transmitted fast.

She added that malfunctioning machines are normal, and the number of vote counting machines that malfunctioned in this year’s elections is only at 1 percent.

Villanueva also said voters should compare what happens during the manual election and the automated election system and weigh which one would be the best for the country.

“I was a poll watcher, and I experienced blackouts while reading the tally, there was ballot snatching back during that time,” she said in Filipino.

“Let us remember those times when manual elections were used and weigh those with our problems today. Then, let’s ask our countrymen through surveys what their preference is,” she added.

The poll watchdog official also said that the Comelec should include more tech experts should there be a bidding process for a new election tech partner.

Villanueva said every election, the Comelec and poll watchdog groups try to improve the system.

“Every election cycle, we are trying to improve,” she said.

“How can we prepare for the failure? Maybe we can look into that with the Comelec so we can improve the system.”