4 firms to join poll supply, services bid

Posted on July 31, 2012

FOUR COMPANIES have expressed interest in bidding for supplies and services to transmit results in next year’s automated midterm elections, said the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

During the pre-bid conference yesterday, the Comelec’s Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) said three firms bought the bid documents for the supply and delivery of compact flash (CF) cards, thermal papers, marking pens, toners and rechargeable batteries, which will be used for the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines during the May 13, 2013 polls.

Optimal Systems, Consolidated Paper Products, Inc. and Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM) Corp. bought the bid documents for the contract worth P200,000 apiece.

CF cards are used to store the data collected by the PCOS machines from the ballots, while the results are printed on thermal papers.

Meanwhile, only Smartmatic-TIM bought the bid documents for the service contract on the electronic transmission of poll results, also worth P200,000 each.

The company was the technology provider in the first nationwide general elections in May 2010.

Transmission of poll results from the precinct to the canvassing site will be through public telecommunication network.

The consumable supply contract has an approved budget of P403,545,408, and the service contract on results transmission P405,423,200.

The Comelec set the deadline for submission of bidding requirements on Aug. 13.

In a related development, SBAC Chairperson Helen G. Aguila-Flores said there will be a rebidding of the contract for the storage facility of over 80,000 PCOS machines.

“We hope to publish our adjusted specifications for the warehouse... within this week,” she told reporters yesterday, adding that they have been directed by the full Comelec “to adopt measures to facilitate competition.”

The first bidding for the warehouse contract failed because the only bidder was declared ineligible after it submitted incomplete requirements last week.

Preparations for next year’s polls go to higher gear as prospective candidates start to enlist with the Comelec on Oct. 1-5 to join the elections. Up for grabs are positions from the Senate down to the local councils. -- A. E. Barrameda