By Ferdinand G. Patinio
MANILA, June 2 (PNA) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has approved Php 14.6 billion budget for the conduct of parallel bidding on automated election system (AES) that will be used in the 2016 national and local polls.
This, after the poll body approved the Terms of Reference (TORs) for the refurbishing of the old Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) units and for the lease with option to purchase of new Optical Mark Reader (OMR) machines.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said the approval came after its Law Department, in Memorandum dated April 28, 2015, recommended the conduct of the bidding since there were no prohibitions against the same and “considering that time is of the essence due to the proximity of the May 9, 2016 National, Local and ARMM Regional Elections.”
A total of Php 14.579 billion has been allocated for the two auctions, Php 1.938 billion of which will be for the refurbishment of the PCOS machines and the remainder for the lease of new OMR machines.
The lease of the new OMR machines was divided into lots of 23,000 new units for Php 3.094 billion, and another 70,977 new units for Php 9.547 billion.
The Comelec is looking at two options, the first one is to refurbish the 81,000 PCOS units and will be supplemented by new 23,000 OMR machines.
The second option is to lease 70,977 additional OMR units, to be combined with the 23,000 OMR machines.
The Comelec en banc has also named the members of the two Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) that will handle the biddings.
According to Minute Resolution No. 15-0359, the SBAC for the new machines will be chaired by Dir. Julio Thaddeus Hernan with vice chair Dir. Divina Blas-Perez, and members Attys. Ma. Juana Valeza, Margaret Ching, and Roseller Abad.
On the other hand, the SBAC for the PCOS refurbishment shall be chaired by Dir. Jubil Surmieda and vice chaired by Dir. Celia Romero, and members Attys. John Rex Laudiangco, Sabino Mejarito, and Ma. Agnes Carreon.
The poll body noted that Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Administration Helen Aguila-Flores will remain as chairperson of the regular Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), that will oversee the other goods and services needed in connection with next year’s polls. (PNA)