Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Comelec inking poll automation deal with Smartmatic Friday

Contract with OMR supplier signed Monday

By Erwin Oliva - INQUIRER.net
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will sign Friday afternoon the contract for the automated election system to be used in parts of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) during regional elections there in August.

Comelec chair Jose Melo confirmed to INQUIRER.net that the poll body will sign the contract with Smartmatic Sahi for its direct recording electronic (DRE) technology.

The Comelec Bids and Awards Committee witnessed a demonstration of the technology by several suppliers late Tuesday.

The Comelec also expects to sign a contract with another supplier, this time of the optical-mark reader (OMR) technology, on Monday, Melo added.

ABS International and Avante are both bidding to supply the OMR technology.

Melo said the poll body has to rush the implementation of the poll automation program since it only has three months before the ARMM elections.

The election automation in the ARMM requires the use of DRE technology in Maguindanao and OMR technology in five other provinces, namely Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur and Shariff Kabunsuan.

The use of the two technologies is based on the recommendations of an advisory council.

DRE uses touch-screen or touch-pad technology for voting, while OMR requires voters to complete a paper ballot which is then fed into a specially designed machine, similar to a scanner.

The advisory council is the body of expert advisers created under Republic Act 9369 and given the task of recommending to the Comelec the technology to use for the election automation.

The Department of Budget and Management has allocated about P867 million for the automation of the ARMM elections.

The advisory council had recommended a six-month schedule for the deployment of the automated election system. This will include training voters and Comelec personnel and for "mock elections."

Melo said the Comelec still has time to deploy the automated election system, as mandated by law.

"We think we can still do it. We need this since we can't do automated elections in 2010 without this. We have no choice," he added.

Labels: , , ,

RP has highest percentage of social network users -- study

By Lawrence Casiraya - INQUIRER.net
A recent global study ranks the Philippines among countries with the highest percentage of Internet users using social networks.

Released by New York-based media agency Universal McCann, the study surveyed 17, 000 Internet users in 29 countries.

In the Philippines, the study noted 15 percent Internet penetration and estimates 37 million "active" Internet users(aged between 16 to 54), or those who go online daily or every other day.

The study estimates 83 percent of Internet users in the Philippines have created social network profiles, having the highest percentage ahead of Hungary (80 percent), Poland (77 percent) and Mexico (76 percent).

It is estimated that nearly 90 percent of users in the Philippines have Friendster accounts, although the rest of the world is either logging on to MySpace or Facebook.

Among the social networks mentioned, 32 percent of total Internet users log on to MySpace every week and 22 percent check their Facebook accounts. However, the study noted the popularity of social networks specific to geographical areas, like Cyworld and Mixi in Asia or Orkut in Brazil.

This shows that it is nearly impossible to create a single social network for the entire population of an estimated 232 million Internet users worldwide, the study said.

Meanwhile, the Philippines also ranks high in terms of specific usage of these social networks. The study estimates 90 percent of Filipino users read blogs, second only to South Korea (92 percent).

Moreover, the Philippines also has the highest percentage of users (86 percent) that have uploaded photos in these social networks, ahead of China (73 percent), Mexico (72 percent) and Brazil (70 percent).

The study also estimates 98 percent of Filipino Internet users have watched video on YouTube, again ranked highest ahead of Mexico and Brazil.

On the other hand, the Philippines was ranked a few notches lower when it comes to downloading podcasts or using RSS (real simple syndication) feeds.

On its third year, the Universal McCann aims to track the use of social media among Internet users worldwide. In general, this year's report showed increasing usage of social networks compared to the past two years.

Also, the results showed that higher usage in emerging countries than the US wherein only an estimated 43 percent of total Internet users use social networks.

Labels: , ,