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Still no bidder for election results transmission

Reynaldo Santos Jr
Posted on 08/30/2012 2:31 PM  | Updated 09/12/2012 5:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines - With 9 months left before the 2013 elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said that it has finally found an eligible bidder for a new election machine storage, but none so far for the transmission of election results.

The poll body announced on Wednesday, August 29, that the joint venture of Storage Solutions, Inc. (SSI) and ASA Color and Chemical Industries, Inc. (ASA) are eligible to join the second round of bidding for the "Lease of Warehouse with Configuration Facilities" where the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines will be stored.

The Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) said that the joint venture is the lone eligible bidder, and had submitted the lowest calculated bid -- P318,888 million (which amounts to P98.119 million per year or Php 8,177 million per month) for the lease of a warehouse with configuration facilities.

The joint venture still has to submit within 3 days documents such as tax clearance, income and business tax returns, and other licenses and permits. “Failure to submit the above requirements on time or a finding against the veracity of such shall be ground for the forfeiture of the bid security and disqualification of the bidder for award,” the SBAC said.

Comelec announced in June that it would bid out a leasing contract worth P112-M to obtain a new "warehouse with configuration facilities." The contract for the free use of the warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna, where the election machines are currently stored, will expire tomorrow, Friday, August 31.

Data transmission

The Comelec also announced a bidding failure in the contract to transmit election results in next year's poll.

SBAC said that the lone bidder, Blue Media Communications Inc., failed to meet some requirements in the contract.

The transmission of results is among the critical services needed in the automated polls. The transmission contract is pegged at over P402 million.

In a report, Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr said that the agency plans to ask the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to provide the poll transmission service.

Smartmatic backed out

Aside from providing machines for the 2010 elections, Venezuela-based Smartmatic also provided a number of poll services, including a machine storage in Laguna and the transmission of votes from PCOS to dedicated servers.

This year, the company expressed interest in bidding for both but backed out later on.

For the bidding of election machine storage, the company said the Comelec's requirements were "no longer feasible from a business standpoint" given Comelec's "numerous requirements."

The SBAC requires bidders to provide a warehouse that has at least a 20-ft ceiling clearance, wide entrances with steel doors, concrete fences, generator sets, 32 CCTV cameras, and other requirements.

For the bidding of the transmission service, on the other hand, Smartmatic was reported to have purchased bid documents but eventually did not submit a bid. - Rappler.com

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