BSP ensures safety of COMELEC source code, transmission router

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Monday, May 2, received in escrow the last election source code and the final trusted build of the transmission router for next week’s national and local election.

During the event at the BSP, Commission on Elections (COMELEC) officials told reporters that they are hoping that this will be the final trusted build of the transmission router for the automated election system after encountering previous issues.

COMELEC Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said that “hopefully” this will be, indeed, the final deposit held in escrow in the BSP for the May 9 election.

He disclosed that they had to re-ensure the final trusted build of the transmission router after they discovered “some errors or modifications” in the transmission results during their testing phase.

“We have already tested this transmission router in our data center and (it) passed all necessary modifications. I think this will be the last and hopefully, no more modifications on source codes,” said Casquejo.

BSP Managing Director Rosabel Guerrero said the BSP is ensuring that the integrity and the credibility of the election process is “intact and unquestionable”.

This is the second series of depositing the source code and the final trusted build of the transmission router to the BSP.

Guerrero vowed that they will keep it safe in the BSP’s highly secured vault by enforcing a series of metal locks and combination codes.

“Access to source codes will be granted only to those officials authorized by COMELEC,” she reiterated. The keys to the metal locks, as well as the combination codes are under the sole custody of COMELEC officials.

Casquejo assured that with 4G broadband technology, they are assuring a fast transmission after the voting was done. “Ang transmission talagang mabilis, split seconds lang ang resulta,” he said on Monday. He also said this on the condition that there is a reliable connection and strong Wi-Fi signal.

Director Franz A. De Leon of the Department of Science and Technology-Advance Science and Technology Institute, explained that a trusted build which is a transmission router, is an application.

“The transmission router is an application. It’s a software that runs in the transmission of router and server so its main job is to receive the election packages from the VCMs (voter counting machines) and the CSS (consolidating canvassing system) and deliver it to the intended destinations,” said De Leon.

COMELEC Chairman Saidamen Balt Pangarungan, also present during the depositing event, said entrusting the BSP to keep the source code and the final trusted build of the transmission router is “one less worry out of our mind and another step closer to a successful election.”

Pangarungan emphasized that the safety and security of the source code is vital to the credibility of the May 9 election process.

“We trust the BSP for holding the source codes in escrow. BSP has strict security procedures that will protect the integrity of the source codes (for the automated elections),” he added.

The BSP is mandated to secure the election source codes under Republic Act No. 9369 to make sure there is a “free, orderly, honest, peaceful, credible, and informed elections”.

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