The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), de facto chair of the COMELEC Advisory Council (CAC), is calling on the reconstitution of the CAC to provide recommendations on the Automated Election System (AES) for the upcoming 2016 National Elections, as per RA 9369.

Early this month the COMELEC instructed the DOST-ICT Office to reconstitute the new CAC in preparation for the 2016 local and national elections.

The reason cited for the early call for the CAC’s reconstitution is so that it can prepare its recommendations to the COMELEC for the technology to be used for the 2016 National and Local Elections; and for the COMELEC to eventually prepare for the 2015 budget requirements, which needs to be submitted by March 2014.  Likewise, it is consistent with the realization that the CAC needs more time to ensure that majority of stakeholders can provide their necessary input.

The Advisory Council will be made up of nine members from the academe, non-government electoral reform organizations, ICT professional organizations and select government agencies who will “recommend the most appropriate, secure, applicable and cost-effective technology to be applied in the Automated Election System.”

Previous CAC members and past candidates are still welcome to apply, candidates need to be endorsed by an organization and submit their background and credentials to the CAC secretariat on or before 10 January 2013. Applications can be sent by mail or email to the CAC Secretariat through ICT Office, CP Garcia Avenue, UP Diliman, Quezon City or cac.secretariat@icto.dost.gov.ph

CAC Chairman and DOST-ICT Office Executive Director, Louis Casambre said, “We are hopeful that with the earlier reconvening of the CAC for the upcoming 2016 election we can minimize potential security issues that came up in 2013 elections such as the late release of the source code.”

The incumbent CAC is set to release its post election report within the month on the use of the AES in the 2013 elections. The report will give recommendations for the next elections as well as legislative recommendations for the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee and administrative recommendations for the COMELEC.

About CAC – RA 9369 tasks the CAC to recommend to the COMELEC “the most appropriate, secure, applicable and cost-effective technology to be applied in the Automation Election System (AES)” for the 2013 elections.

About DOST-ICTO – The Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology is the Philippine Government’s lead agency on ICT related matters. Its primary thrusts are in the ICT Industry Development, eGovernment, ICT policy development, Internet for all and Cybersecurity.

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