MEGA  DATA  OFFERS  FREE  USE  OF  'BOTONG  PINOY'  FOR  2007  POLLS
 
MANILA
, FEBRUARY 11, 2007
  (STAR) Mega Data Corp., the governmentís partner in the successful automation of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO), has offered to the Commission on Elections the free use of its Botong Pinoy automated voting system (AVS) software.

If the Comelec will accept Mega Dataís offer, there is no need for a public bidding to computerize the coming May elections, the company said in a statement.

Botong Pinoy is readily available to the Comelecís technical staff as well as to the administration and opposition parties for evaluation to ensure that there are no built-in technical routines that favor any particular party or individual before the system is locked prior to installation and use. Mega Data has offered to construct the source code of the different programs.

Asked why Mega Data was giving it away for free, Mega Data president Raffy Garciaís answer was, "Because we love the country."

Garcia gave assurance that there is no need for any public bidding because Botong Pinoy can easily utilize the "PC ng Bayan" issued by the Department of Budget and Management to government agencies.

The hardware and software are also readily available without any need for bidding. "There is still adequate time for a limited implementation in 2007 as mandated by Republic Act 9369. After elections, the PCs can be left in schools to be used by the students until the next elections. Give automation a chance. Kung ayaw may dahilan, kung gusto, may paraan," Garcia said.

As demonstrated in the presentations made by Mega Data to the Comelec and Senate, Botong Pinoy is an end-to-end solution that is totally modular. It has an eRegistration system with an eBiometrics module option.

Therefore, Mega Data said the Comelec may decide to use just the eVoting module along with the eCounting module and interconnect them with the Comelecís own transmission and tabulation systems. In short, the Comelec can choose the modules that it wishes to implement.

Mega Data will not provide any hardware component for the implementation and will make any money from the free use of Botong Pinoy.

Prior to the May 14, 2007 elections, Botong Pinoy will be used by the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) for the election of its board of directors in April.

This is the fourth time that the PSE has utilized Botong Pinoy for its election. Since its usage, the elections have been spared from controversies. The process is faster, more accurate and uncontested, with the final results announced as soon as the last ballot was cast.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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