Poll machine storage deal auction by end-Aug.

Posted on August 15, 2012

THE CONTRACT to store poll counting machines that will be used in next year’s midterm elections will be auctioned off before the end of the month, an official said yesterday.

"We want to have a successful bidding for this lot… and to arrive at a provider by the last week of August," Maria Victoria S. Dulcero, head of secretariat at the Special Bids and Awards Committee of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), said in an interview after the pre-bid conference.

Up for grabs is a P405.54-million contract for the 40-month "lease of warehouse with configuration" for over 80,000 precinct count optical scan machines, which will be used during the May 13, 2013 elections.

The storage contract will be rebid, as an earlier auction in July failed after the lone bid of joint venture RV Marzan International Forwarders, Inc.-Bodega Site IT Solutions, Inc. failed to complete documentation.

For the rebidding, Ms. Dulcero said the Comelec has "extended the coverage and approved budget of the contract" from one year and P112 million, respectively.

Other firms that initially expressed interest on the project said the budget was tight to cover the requirements.

Three firms attended the pre-bid conference, namely, SSI Asia, Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM) Corp. and Marzan-Bodega Site.


Ms. Dulcero said the firms, all of which expressed intent during the earlier bidding, asked Comelec if it can waive the bid document fee of P112,000.

The firms also sought clarification on "details relating to the increase of the contract duration," she added, without elaborating.

"We will now be conducting a meeting and will arrive at the final terms of reference as well as the schedule for the new deadline for submission of bids and the bid opening," Ms. Dulcero said.

Should the rebidding fail anew, the Comelec may resort to a negotiated contract as provided for under Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act. -- Antonio Siegfrid O. Alegado