TIMELINE: Miru’s road to becoming PH’s voting machine provider in 2025

Dwight de Leon

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TIMELINE: Miru’s road to becoming PH’s voting machine provider in 2025

SIGNED. The Commission on Elections and Miru Systems seal their partnership for the 2025 elections as Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia and MIRU Systems president Jinbok Chung sign the contract for the full automation system with transparency audit/count (FASTrAC) project at the Comelec office in Manila on March 11, 2024.


New voting machines will be used for the 2025 midterm elections in the Philippines. South Korean company Miru Systems will provide them, not Smartmatic.

MANILA, Philippines – The joint venture led by South Korean firm Miru Systems will usher in a new era of voting in the Philippines after securing an ever-important contract on the conduct of automated polls.

For the 2025 midterm polls, Miru will provide the Commission on Elections (Comelec) with over 100,000 voting machines and other election equipment.

This change is consequential, as Filipinos have been used to the machines provided by Smartmatic, the country’s only poll tech provider since the country began automating elections in 2010. The company’s recent controversies ultimately resulted in its disqualification from future election bidding processes in the country.

Rappler looks back at the road that Miru traversed to win the multi-billion-peso deal.


Records show that Miru showed interest in the Philippine election scene as early as November 2014, when it bought bidding documents for the lease of automated election systems for the 2016 elections.

It later decides not to submit a bid proposal, citing time constraints in finalizing its documents.

Smartmatic wins the contract for that project, just like it did in 2010 and 2013.

March 2023

Miru is among the attendees of the Comelec’s national election summit in March 2023, an event that allowed companies to showcase their technology to the poll body.

July 2023

Miru is among the firms that pitched their internet voting technology to the Comelec, which has been seeking to make voting more convenient for overseas Filipinos.

September 2023

The US government sues former Comelec chairman Andres Bautista for money laundering and conspiracy. He allegedly received bribe money from top executives of a poll tech firm and its subsidiaries in exchange for assistance in their bid to secure multi-million-dollar election contracts.

Smartmatic is not named in the filing, but descriptions match the company. It denies wrongdoing. Bautista also denies receiving bribe money from Smartmatic.

November 2023

The Comelec decides to bar Smartmatic from participating in future Philippine elections, saying the allegations pose an “imminent threat to the strength and integrity” of the country’s democratic processes.

December 2023

On December 14, 2023, the poll body kicks off the bidding for the full automation system with transparency audit count (FASTrAC) project, which has a maximum budget of P18.8 billion. The winner bidder would supply the Comelec with 110,000 new automated counting machines; 104,345 ballot boxes; 2,200 canvassing system laptops and printers; and ballot papers, among others.

Smartmatic still tries to tender a bid but is denied by the Comelec. Because of that, only Miru is recognized as a bidder.

Things do not go in Miru’s favor during the first round of bidding though. The Comelec declares a failure because Miru fails to fully comply with the documentary requirements.

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January 2024

During the second round of bidding on January 8, the Comelec finally accepts Miru’s bid of P17.9 billion for the contract, after the latter is deemed compliant with the documentary requirements.

Miru is again the lone bidder after the Comelec closes the door on Smartmatic, and after four other firms which earlier bought bidding documents decide not to push forward.

The post-qualification evaluation starts thereafter, with the poll body testing Miru’s machine prototypes and ballot boxes, among others.

During this time, some election watchdogs begin raising concerns about the capability of Miru to provide reliable election technology to the Philippines in light of its complicated history overseas.

Supposed election discrepancies are reported in Iraq and Democractic Republic of Congo, countries that had Miru as poll tech provider. Miru disputes the allegations, providing the media with copies of certifications and/or statements of support from the governments of DR Congo and Iraq.

February 2024

The Comelec, on February 21, finally issues the notice of award to Miru and its local partners Integrated Computer Systems, St. Timothy Construction Corporation, and Centerpoint Solutions Technologies Incorporated.

“We are committed to further proving the quality of our machines and manufacturing processes as the Comelec continues to inspect the mass production of our systems according to the poll body’s specifications and needs,” Miru says in a statement on February 22.

The group Democracy Watch, however, remains unconvinced, saying issues raised by third-party groups in Iraq and DR Congo remain unaddressed.

“We cannot risk having a faulty and unreliable automated election system that can lead to political instability in our country,” Democracy Watch Philippines convenor Lloyd Zaragoza insists on February 23.

March 2024

Comelec Chairman George Garcia and Miru president Jinbok Chung sign the contract on March 11, formalizing a partnership that could make or break the 2025 elections.

Crowd, Person, Adult
DEAL. Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia and Miru Systems president Jinbok Chung hold a press conference after a partnership contract signing for the full automation system with transparency audit count (FASTrAC) project for the 2025 elections on March 11, 2024. Inoue Jaena/Rappler


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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.