MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) has failed to bid out the contract to lease a new warehouse for the storage of election machines.
SBAC chairman Helen Flores said on Monday, July 23, that its lone bidder, the joint venture of RV Marzan Forwarders Inc. and Bodega Site IT Solutions Inc., failed to meet the financial and technical requirements of the bidding. “This committee declares the joint venture ineligible. And since the said joint venture is the lone prospective bidder in this bidding, we regret to declare failure of bidding,” she said.
Comelec has announced on June that it will bid out a leasing contract worth P112-M to obtain a new “warehouse with configuration facilities” where the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines will be stored. The contract for the free use of the warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna, where the election machines are currently stored, will expire on August 31.
The joint venture became the lone bidder after Smartmatic and two other companies backed out of the bidding. In a letter submitted to SBAC, Smartmatic said the requirements stated in the contract are “no longer feasible from a business standpoint” given Comelec’s “numerous requirements.”
The SBAC requires bidders to provide a warehouse that has at least 20 feet ceiling clearance, wide entrances with steel doors, concrete fences, generator sets, 32 CCTV cameras, and other requirements.
“We regret to inform you that upon careful consideration of our management, we have decided that we cannot participate in the bidding process under the current bid framework,” Smartmatic said in its letter.
Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said in a phone interview that they still have to receive a report from SBAC on why the bidding failed. The committee will recommend to the en banc whether to conduct another bidding or call for a negotiated bidding. – Rappler.com
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