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AS AUTOMATION HANGS Resolve conflict, Comelec tells tech firms

Posted on: July 1, 2009

AS AUTOMATION HANGS
Resolve conflict, Comelec tells tech firms

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 18:14:00 06/30/2009

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Elections, Politics

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) gave the two partners in a technology consortium until Friday to resolve their differences, or else, the country will be stuck with manual voting in 2010, Comelec Chairman Jose Melo said.

Dutch firm Smartmatic International invested a higher amount in the joint venture but its Filipino partner, Total Information Management (TIM), which became the deal-breaker for the two, wanted to have the final say on payment terms, Melo said after a meeting with representatives of the two firms on Tuesday.

On Monday, TIM announced it was pulling out of its joint venture with Smartmatic, putting the automation project in peril.

“Based on our meeting with Smartmatic and TIM, we told them to reconsider working together for the automation project and resolve their issues regarding disbursement of the payment after contract milestones are reached…,” Melo said.

“I told them in a joke, let us see if there can be a marriage of convenience or shotgun until Friday when we resume talks about the matter,” he added.

If the two bidders fail to resolve their differences by Friday, the Comelec will adopt manual voting in 2010 since a second bidding is out of the question, the Comelec chief said.

“I don’t want to speculate (on) the outcome (of the talks) but if they don’t (resolve their differences), we will have manual (voting). There is no time for second biding,” he said.

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