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FOR QUALITY BIDDING Comelec requires bonds from bidders

Posted on: March 12, 2009


By Anna Valmero
First Posted 16:53:00 03/11/2009

Filed Under: Inquirer Politics, Elections, Eleksyon 2010

MANILA, Philippines—Vendors interested to join the bidding of poll tech machines for the 2010 elections are required to give bidders’ bond, while the winning vendor required to give an additional performance bond to the Commission on Elections, said an official.

“We will require all prospective candidates for the bidding to give a bidder’s bond to weed out nuisance bidders from joining the bidding,” said Comelec chairman Jose Melo Wednesday.

Melo added: “The winning bidder is required to give a performance bond to guarantee they will perform as advertised in the demonstration and testing of poll technologies.”

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez concurred. In a separate interview, Jimenez said the bidders’ bond or bid security is refundable by non-winners of the bid.

“For the performance bond, the winning bidder has the option to get a refund of the bid security and pay a separate performance bond, or add to the existing bid security to meet the total amount of the performance bond,” said Jimenez.

“The performance bond is equal to 5 percent of the total contract amount of P11.3 billion,” said Jimenez.

The amount will be used by the vendor to pay for penalties, which may result from inability to meet project milestones or schedules such as failure to deliver machines on time or failure of machines to comply to performance guidelines in the TOR.

In case the winning bidder performs according to the TOR guidelines and has incurred no penalties, the performance bond is refundable after the evaluation of the automation project.

Jimenez clarified the bonds are separate from the non-refundable purchase amount of the TOR, which is $20,000 or about P1 million.

The Congress approved the P11.3 supplemental budget for the automation of the 2010 elections. The Comelec plans to lease and deploy nationwide 80,000 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines in 2010.

Melo said the poll body has drafted the schedule for the bidding of automated poll machines to be used in 2010.

At a press briefing Wednesday, Melo said the poll body will issue notice on March 16 the publication of the terms of reference (TOR) and request for proposal (RFP) for the bidders. Both documents contain details of the system specifications and configuration the poll tech vendors must comply with.

Vendors can purchase copies of the TOR and RFP on March 18. A pre-bid conference is set on March 27, which will allow vendors and poll officials to clarify the technical specifications of the poll technologies, said Melo.

The opening of the bids is set on April 27. The event will be open for viewing of the media, interested public and poll watchdogs such as the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting and Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

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