The Philippine Star - New election tech provider seen by yearend

13 June 2019

By Richmond Mercurio | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines could have a new election technology provider before the year ends.

“Maybe by the end of this year, we will have a new provider. Comelec (Commission on Elections) will be the one to choose. All of these, Comelec will have the final say and we will help them with the terms of reference,” acting Information and Communications Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio told The STAR.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has been tasked by President Duterte to come up with options for the country’s automated election system (AES).

The President last month said he wanted the Comelec to drop tech provider Smartmatic, the firm that has been involved in automated elections in the country since 2010, for allegedly promoting cheating.

On June 21, Rio said the DICT would present the concepts that the agency has done to the Comelec Advisory Council, the joint Congressional Oversight Committee, and other stakeholders.

“We will present concepts of how we can do an automated election other than (with) Smartmatic, preferably that can be done by Filipinos. We will present only concepts and it is actually Comelec who will decide. They will be the one to come up with the bidding process,” Rio said.

Rio said the DICT also intends to come up with ways on how the next automated elections can be integrated using off-the-shelf components to make it cheaper.