Comelec to rebid warehouse requirement

Posted on July 30, 2012

THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) will be conducting a rebidding for the warehouse facility it needs to store the thousands of automated poll machines that will be used in next year’s midterm elections, an official of the poll body said.

“We decided to rebid,” said Helen G. Aguila-Flores, chairperson of the Comelec Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC), in an interview last week.

This is in light of the failure of bidding on July 23 when only one bidder submitted documentary bidding requirements, which were nonetheless declared incomplete by the SBAC on the same day.

During the pre-bid conference last July 9, at least four firms expressed interest and bought bid documents outlining the specifications for the warehousing facility needed for the storage and configuration of over 80,000 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines to be used in the May 2013 elections.

The four firms are CTSI Logistics Philippines, Inc., SSI Asia, and the two joint ventures Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM) Corp. and RV Marzan International Forwarders, Inc.-Bodega Site IT Solutions, Inc.

Only the joint venture of Marzan-Bodega Site, however, submitted bid requirements during the opening of bids last Monday, while Smartmatic-TIM filed a letter of regret saying the budget of P112 million “is simply not sufficient” to cover requirements for the lease of a warehouse to store over 80,000 PCOS machines.

“The investment that needs to be undertaken to meet those new requirements cannot be recouped [within] a year, which is the length of the contract,” the letter read, stating that the additional requirements included by the Comelec such as a bigger space, racking system, reach trucks and security guards “made the project no longer feasible from a business standpoint.”

Ms. Flores said they have referred the issue to the Comelec’s Project Management Office (PMO) to determine whether or not “to adjust the [warehouse facility] specifications if necessary to maximize competition.”

Based on Comelec’s bid documents, the warehouse should have an area of 28,000-30,000 square meters, with at least 6.1 meters of ceiling clearance.

The warehouse should be within a 60-kilometer radius from the Comelec’s main office in Intramuros and should have 24-hour fire and security systems, including closed circuit television monitoring.

The warehouse should also have rooms for configuration of the machines, and rooms for administrative and documentation purposes.

Ms. Flores said as soon as they have the revised specifications -- which are expected to be discussed by the Comelec en banc on Thursday -- they will be publishing an invitation to bid on major national newspapers.

Should the second bidding again fails, the official said, they would have to conduct a negotiated procurement.

Negotiated procurement, as defined by Republic Act (RA) 9184, is a procuring method by which “the procuring entity directly negotiates a contract with a technically, legally and financially capable supplier, contractor or consultant.”

Article 16 of RA 9184 states that such procurement method may be resorted to in the case of two failed biddings. -- Aubrey E. Barrameda