With an additional P260-million budget allocated to lease 10,000 vote counting machines (VCM) for the 2022 polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is hopeful it could finally get interested firms to bid for the contract.
During the weekend, Comelec issued the details for the second bidding for the deal.
The poll body opted to raise the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) for additional VCMs, also known as OMR/OPSCAN Precinct Counter, from P600,503,500.00 to P864,024,067.
This, after the initial bidding for the contract last month ended in failure due to low ABC.
The lone company in the bidding, Smartmatic-Total Information Management 2016 Inc. (SMMT-TIM), even complained that the ABC for the contract is not enough to cover the additional expenses it has to contend with due to the pandemic.
Aside from providing the actual machines, the winning bidder must also deliver 10,000 pieces of main secure digital (SD) Cards and 10,000 wormable SD cards.
Comelec started issuing the bidding documents for the second bidding last Saturday.
It will hold a pre-bid conference on October 22, 2021 at 10 a.m. before the deadline for the submission of bids on Nov. 8, 2021 at 8 am.
The opening of bids will also be held on Nov. 8, 2021 at 10 a.m.
Comelec will use the additional OMR Precinct Counters to augment its existing 97,145 VCMs so it could disperse voters to more voting precincts.
The measure is part of the poll body’s attempt to minimize the risk of infection spreading in voting centers.