By Ferdinand G. Patinio
MANILA, July 14 (PNA) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will hold a second round of public bidding for the refurbishment with systems upgrade of the more than 81,000 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.
With this, the Comelec – Special Bids and Awards Committee 2 (SBAC 2) has increased the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) from the Php 2,074,088,878.92 to Php 3,130,670,549.98.
Comelec Commissioner Christian Lim explained that the ABC was adjusted in consideration of the market survey conducted by the SBAC 2; the recommendations from the non-binding conference conducted with prospective bidders; and adjustments in the specific requirements of the project.
“Based on this new ABC, the cost per unit of a refurbished PCOS will come out as Php 23,574.05,” the poll body official said.
The second bidding will be conducted as the SBAC 2 declared a failure of bidding for the refurbishment project of the 81,896 old PCOS units after no bids were submitted despite Smartmatic – Total Information Management (TIM) Corporation, Indra Sistemas S.A., and Vertex Business Applications, Inc. all purchasing bid documents.
Smartmatic-TIM and Vertex both cited the reduction of the budget by Php 805,911,121 from the original amount of Php 2,880,000,000 as their reasons for not participating in the bidding.
The SBAC 2 said the complete set of bidding documents may be acquired by interested bidders from July 13, 2015 to Aug. 1, 2015.
The bidding documents may be acquired upon payment of a non-refundable fee of Php 75,000 from Mondays to Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Office of the Regional Election Director – National Capital Region at the 2nd Floor FEMII Building (Annex) in Intramuros, Manila.
The Pre-Bid Conference is scheduled on July 20 at 2 p.m. at the Comelec Session Hall at the 8th Floor Palacio del Gobernador Bldg. in Intramuros, Manila, to discuss Eligibility Requirements, Minimum Technical Criteria, and Financial Components of the project.
Submission of Eligibility Requirements and Technical Proposal, meanwhile, is on Aug. 1 on or before 9 a.m. at the Bureau of Treasury Convention Hall at the 3rd Floor Palacio del Gobernador Bldg. in Intramuros, Manila with the Opening of Bids to be held an hour later in the same venue.
The project involves the upgrading of software and hardware; replacement of hardware and major parts; replacement of PCOS box and other consumables; replacement of other parts; preventive maintenance and warranty (post elections); shipment and delivery; refurbishment and upgrading services; Project Management Office (PMO) and technical support services; consumables of the existing PCOS machines; and ballots.
Meanwhile, Lim said they were set to review their timeline for the 2016 elections due to the conduct of the second bidding.
“The timeline of what matters can be adjusted to accommodate refurbishment. We believe there is still enough time naman,” he added.
On the other hand, Lim said that the “Notice of Award” for the 23,000 OMR units was put on hold after the poll body received separate motions for reconsideration (MRs) from Indra and Miru Systems Co. Ltd., as both wanted to join the bidding in the lease of OMR machines.
The SBAC 1 has recommended the issuance of the “Notice of Award” to Smartmatic – TIM Corporation.
In their MRs, Indra questioned Smartmatic – TIM’s Article of Incorporation, which is among the eligibility requirements of the project while Miru argued the absence of a majority decision in the Comelec en banc’s reversal of the disqualification of Smartmatic-TIM.
Lim said they had already asked the Law Department to study the MRs with the prayer to proceed to the Second Round of bidding for the 23,000 OMR machines.
“The action of the en banc is to refer the matter for legal opinion to the Law Department on how we should proceed. Pending the opinion of the Law Department, the Chairman will defer the issuance of the Notice to Award,” he added. (PNA)