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Comelec earmarks P112 M for PCOS storage

Manila, Philippines -  The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is now looking for its own warehouse to store the 81,280 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines that will be used in the 2013 polls.

In Resolution No. 9486, the Comelec ordered its Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) to hold a public bidding as soon as possible for the lease of “warehouse configuration facilities.”

The Comelec’s Project Management Office has earmarked some P112 million for the rental of the warehouse for one year.

“There is an immediate need to procure the lease of a warehouse with configuration facilities in order to store the purchased PCOS machines, as well as to have a facility for the conduct of the configuration activities and other technical procedures involving the said PCOS machines,” said the Comelec.

The poll body is expected to receive this month the first batch of the PCOS machines from Smartmatic International Corp. which has been keeping the machines in a warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna since the 2010 elections.

“The PMO has made the lease of a warehouse with configuration facilities as its priority in the list of the goods, services and infrastructure required to be procured for the May 13, 2013 elections, considering that the terms for the free use of the SMTT warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna will expire on Aug. 31, 2012,” the Comelec said.

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In an earlier interview, Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle said that while they find it convenient to keep the PCOS machines in the Cabuyao warehouse, they cannot do so without public bidding.

“We have to open this to any party that may be interested to lease us a warehouse. We have to hold a bidding and explore other options,” Tagle said.

The bidding documents may be purchased by interested bidders until July 23 at the main office of the Comelec in Intramuros, Manila.

The pre-bid conference will be held on July 9 at 10 a.m. at the Comelec main office.

Last week, the Comelec inspected the PCOS machines in the Cabuyao warehouse after the Supreme Court had upheld the poll body’s decision to buy them for P1.8 billion.

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