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5 firms bid to provide electronic vote transmission services

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Five companies yesterday submitted their “best and final offers” to the Bids and Awards Committee of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to provide the electronic results transmission services (ERTS) for the May 2016 elections.

These are Smarmatic International Corp., Ezcom Telecommunications Service and Solutions Corp., Edgecomm Inc., Arronet Solutions Integrator Inc. and SOG Philippines Inc.

“After we have opened all the sealed envelopes containing the ‘best and final’ offers of the five prospective bidders, we shall look into three things – legal compliance or legal requirements, financial proposal and technical capability,” said bids committee chair Helen Aguila-Flores.

She clarified that the lowest bid is not necessarily the best offer.

Flores added that there will be an equivalent of post-qualification evaluation in a regular bidding during which the Technical Working Group may require additional information that would answer some queries or validation.

The approved budget for the negotiated procurement project is P558 million.

Based on documents presented, Smartmatic’s bid was P507,718,000 while Ezcom’s offer was P505,000,000; Edgecomm, P549,415,200; Arronet, P2,110,800,000; SOG, P555,000,000.

The Comelec gave the bids committee not later than Nov. 14 to submit its recommendation. The poll body is expected to decide on this on Nov. 16.

The Comelec had resorted to a negotiated procurement after the public bidding for the project failed twice.

The poll body had considered tapping telecommunication companies Globe and PLDT-Smart but this did not materialize.

According to Comelec Commissioner Christian Robert Lim, they approached these companies “but what was promised to us is connectivity.”

Lim said the Comelec will have to procure other aspects of transmission such as electronic data center, thus the “result is we would have to unbundle the entire transmission project.”

He claimed the telecom companies also did not want to be the system integrator for the project and “that’s the critical portion” of the project.

“The en banc felt that it would be very risky at this point in time. If we had longer time we would take that option. But given that this is what they can offer at the moment, we decided to proceed with the negotiated procurement,” Lim added.  

The Comelec also plans to come up with a precinct portal where voters could check the status of their registration for the May 2016 polls.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said the portal will be the updated version of the agency’s precinct finder and it will be based on the results of the 17-month voters’ registration that ended last Oct. 31.

ACIRC

ARRONET SOLUTIONS INTEGRATOR INC

BIDS AND AWARDS COMMITTEE OF THE COMMISSION

COMELEC

COMELEC CHAIRMAN ANDRES BAUTISTA

COMELEC COMMISSIONER CHRISTIAN ROBERT LIM

EDGECOMM INC

EZCOM TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE AND SOLUTIONS CORP

HELEN AGUILA-FLORES

PHILIPPINES INC

SMARMATIC INTERNATIONAL CORP

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