Philippine Consulate General in New York hosts COMELEC Regional Training for Philippine Elections

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NEW YORK -- As part of the preparations for the impending 2016 Philippine elections, the Philippine Consulate General in New York hosted the COMELEC’s on-site training on the implementation of the Automated Election System (AES) last 15-17 March 2016.

 

The three-day seminar was designed for members of the Special Boards of Election Inspectors (SBEI) and Special Ballot Custody and Reception Groups (SBCRG) as well as the Special Boards of Canvassers (SBOC). For the first time ever, the Automated Election System will be used by voters in North America. Participants to the seminar included representatives from the Philippine Embassies in Washington, DC and Ottawa, as well as the Philippine Consulates General in Chicago, Toronto and of course, New York.

The COMELEC team, led by Commissioner Al A. Parreño, had intensively prepared for the seminar, and exhaustively discussed the nuances of the Automated Election System, answering the questions asked by the participants, who were eager to discuss the fine points and details of the new and unfamiliar processes. Aside from the instruction, in-depth analysis and hands-on operation, individualized sessions were also conducted, in order to thoroughly train the participants. A trainer from the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) was also on hand to conduct written and practical examinations at the end of the sessions, and certify that the participants were indeed capable and familiar with the new system.

Training participants expressed their thankfulness at having been given the opportunity to enhance their knowledge regarding the new system, and looked forward to serving the needs of the Filipino voters for the upcoming elections.

The COMELEC, through its Minute Resolution No. 15-0798 dated 08 December 2015 and Resolution No. 10052 mandated that select Consulates and Embassies in North America to conduct elections through the AES. In previous elections, these Foreign Service Posts had used the traditional manual system of voting. However, due to the success of the 2014-2015 Overseas Voter Registration drive, the number of voters for the region had made the manual counting impractical, and justified the use of automated elections.

The election period for overseas voting begins on 09 April 2016 and ends on 09 may 2016 at 5:00 p.m. (Philippine time). The COMELEC’s figures show a voting population of around 250,000 for the North American area. There are approximately 26,000 voters registered under the Philippine Consulate General in New York.  – Vice Consul Khrys Corpuz, PCGNY