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Comelec chief: TOR for automation bid ready

Posted on: March 16, 2009


By Anna Valmero
First Posted 16:12:00 03/16/2009

Filed Under: Elections, Eleksyon 2010, Technology (general)

MANILA, Philippines – The terms of reference and request for proposal (TOR/RFP) for the procurement of more than 80,000 counting machines will be available for purchase from March 18 to 25, Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Jose Melo said Monday.

Melo said bidders could get a copy of the TOR/RFP from the Bids and Awards Committee Secretariat for a non-refundable amount of P1 million.

The TOR/RFP details the specifications and requirements for the automated election system (AES) to be used in the 2010 elections, Melo told reporters during a briefing.

The TOR/RFP includes one folder containing specifications and requirements of the Comelec automation project, 11 annex folders of additional details and a history on Philippine election system, and a CD containing both sets of documents.

Melo said the procurement contract has three components.

First, the paper-based AES consists of an election management system, precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines and consolidation, canvassing system.

Second is a provision for electronic transmission of election results using public telecommunications network. This means vendors will have to select and enter into a contract with Philippine public telecommunications companies to transmit the election results from the polling precincts to the Comelec Manila office and other entities prescribed in the poll automation law or Republic Act 9369.

Since the automated election system is using a public telecommunications infrastructure, Comelec Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer said the poll body was more confident there would be fewer issues on the transmission of results, unlike in the 2008 [ARMM] elections where vendors also provided the transmission infrastructure, which encountered technical problems on election day.

Third is the overall project management, which details the physical site plan, risk management and contingency planning and project implementation.

“Some parties [have] express[ed] apprehension on the [automation] project but we at the Commission are confident about it. I think the poll automation for 2010 [would] push through,” said Melo.

Melo said there was a big possibility that vendors would make alliances since the “project is huge and requires the deployment of 80,000 units of PCOS nationwide.”

Melo said at least 10 companies have expressed interest to join the bidding for this multi-billion project.

In cases where bidders would decide to partner with other suppliers, they could only acquire one copy of the TOR/RFP, Comelec said.

Members of the group are required to register as one company and should not dissolve into individual companies from the application of bidding to the actual project implementation, said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez in a separate interview.

Comelec has set the bid document purchase amount to P1 million to weed out nuisance companies from joining the bidding.

When asked how Comelec planned to spend the P1 million for the bid documents, Melo said the total amount would be used to fund the project management.

A pre-bid conference is scheduled at 10 a.m. on March 27 when vendors could clarify provisions and specifications in the TOR/RFP, said Melo.

Any modifications or additional provisions in the TOR/RFP resulting from the pre-bid conference discussion – and before the opening of bids on April 27 – would be published as “bid bulletins” and added in the TOR/RFP, said Jimenez.

Jimenez said all sealed applications for eligibility and bid documents for the procurement contract would be received by the Comelec not later than 10 a.m. on April 27, the same day Comelec opens the bids.

Congress approved on March 4 the P11.3 supplemental budget, which the Comelec had requested to automate the 2010 elections.


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