Press Release
April 26, 2016

Senate employees prepare to receive COCs and ERs
for May 9 elections

Senate officials and employees today will be participating in a briefing and seminar on the reception of the Certificates of Canvass (COCs) and Election Returns (ERs) for the May 9 presidential and vice presidential elections.

The seminar will be given by representatives of the Commission on Elections and Smartmatic Philippines, Inc.

"This briefing and seminar is part of our preparation for the Constitutional duty of the Senate President to receive the Certificates of Canvass (COCs) and Election Returns (ERs)," Senate Secretary Oscar G. Yabes said.

According to Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution the returns of every election for President and Vice President, duly certified by the board of Canvassers of each province and city, shall be transmitted to Congress, through the President of the Senate.

Like in previous presidential and vice presidential elections, the reception of the COCs and the ERs will be at the Senate of the Philippines.

"Because of that Constitutional mandate we are preparing for this activity. We have to acquaint our staff since this involves what is called the consolidation and canvassing system, and that is why we have invited both the Comelec and Smartmatic to explain to us what this is all about," Yabes said.

According to Yabes, the Senate will be ready to receive the COCs and ERs immediately after the polling precincts will close at 5 p.m. on May 9.

"We will be receiving ballot boxes that purportedly contain the COCs from the different canvassing boards like the overseas absentee voting centers, and from the different provinces," he said.

Upon receipt of the COCs, the Senate president, within thirty days, shall open all the certificates in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives and thereafter canvass the votes in joint session.

Yabes also said that the on the afternoon of the elections, the Senate will be involved in the initialization of the computer system that will be installed in the House of Representatives, where the joint session of Congress will be convened as Board of Canvassers for the presidential and vice presidential votes.

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