Comelec running low on options.
After two failed biddings, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has already ruled out another public bidding for the refurbishment of the more than 80,000 old Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.
"That's already the second round of bidding that already failed. So, the next step after that is negotiated bid," Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said in a press briefing.
On Saturday, the Comelec Special Bids and Awards Committee 2 (SBAC 2) declared a failure of bidding in the second round of bidding for the P3.13-billion PCOS repair project after the lone bidder, the joint venture of Dermalog Identification Systems GmbH, Avante Technology, and Stone of David Technical Equipment, was found "ineligible."
However, Jimenez stressed that the negotiated bid was just among the options left since the en banc will still be discussing whether or not to continue with the refurbishment.
"What is being discussed now is the choice between continuing with the refurbishment or just not continuing with the refurbishment. In which case, if the refurbishment will not push through, the option is the lease of the 70,000 new Optical Mark Reader (OMR) units," he said.
But, he said the Comelec will first consult its Advisory Council (CAC) and the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee (JCOC) on the Automated Election System before coming out with a decision.
"We are seeking inputs from other stakeholders as well just to get their inputs... and all of that will be in the decision making process of the commission," said Jimenez.
The Comelec SBAC 1 already issued a resolution recommending the issuance of a Notice of Award also to Smartmatic - Total Information Management (TIM) Corporation for the provision of the 70,977 Optical Mark Reader (OMR) machines for P6.29 billion but the en banc has yet act on the recommendation as it is still waiting for the outcome of the PCOS refurbishment bidding.
The poll body also already issued the Notice of Award to Smartmatic-TIM last Friday this time, for the provision of the 23,000 OMR machines for P1.72 billion.
The Comelec is eyeing two options for the May 2016 polls namely: the re-use of the 81,896 PCOS machines to be supplemented by the 23,000 OMR units and the use of all new OMR units by combining the 23,000 and the 70,977 OMR units.