PRESS RELEASE: NAMFREL to conduct Bilang ng Bayan

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This press release sent by NAMFREL via email on 6 May 2010. the press conference was held yesterday, 5 May 2010.

The National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) announced today that it will be conducting its independent Bilang ng Bayan operations for the May 10 election results. The Bilang ng Bayan will be based on copies of the Election Returns which will be printed by the COMELEC’s PCOS machines. Each PCOS machine will be printing 30 copies of the Election Returns at each voting precinct. The first eight copies of the Election Returns will be distributed to various COMELEC Boards of Canvassers, political parties, and accredited citizens arm. The rest of the copies will be made available to the public as well as to local political parties and local or regional media organizations.

NAMFREL announced that its Bilang ng Bayan operations will be run out of its traditional operations center at La Salle Greenhills, where it has been running its Operation Quick Count for every election since 1984.

NAMFREL stated that it had already completed its training for all its provincial chapters through six regional training sessions held in Metro Manila, Davao City, Zamboanga City, Cebu City, and San Fernando (La Union). Volunteers have been trained to collect Election Returns and to encode them into NAMFREL’s secure, encrypted website which will tabulate results on a municipal, provincial, regional, and national basis. Results from NAMFREL’s Bilang ng Bayan will be available to all media organizations and to the public through its website as results are filed from its provincial units.

The Bilang ng Bayan is being conducted in partnership with CBCP-NASSA, the Protestant Church, and Ulama networks across the country. The data from Election Returns will allow NAMFREL to consolidate counts from precinct level to municipality, provincial, regional, and national levels.

NAMFREL enjoined all political parties to make sure their watchers pick up their copies of the ER so that more checks and balances are put in place.

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