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DOST XI Regional Director, Dr. Anthony C. Sales, said that the RA No. 8436 which was amended by RA No. 9369 mandated DOST to implement the certification program whenever an Automated Election System (AES) will be used. “At least one member of the BEIs shall be an IT-capable person who is certified by the DOST to use the AES,” Dr. Sales added. The 25 certifiers took oath to fulfill their duties and responsibilities in the conduct of the certification program with fairness and objectivity last February 29, 2016 at Crown Regency Hotel, Davao City.

The certification program is being held simultaneously in Davao City for the provinces of Davao Occidental, Davao Norte, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, and the City of Davao from March 1  until March 23 this year.

A total of 8,170 BEIs will undergo the certification process which has two (2) stages: the written and the practical examination. The examination process determines the capability of BEIs to operate the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs). Successful examinees will be issued a certificate from DOST.

This will the third time that DOST is certifying the Board of Election Inspectors. DOST began the certification program during the 2010 Presidential Elections which was also the country’s first automated elections..

Dr. Sales said that “the certification process is necessary to help achieve DOST’s goal of contributing to the credible, fair and honest polls in May 9, 2016.”