The Philippine Star : Comelec eyes 10,000 more counting machines

News & Interviews
9 August 2021

By Mayen Jaymalin | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections might use 10,000 more vote counting machines for the May 2022 national and local elections to lower the ratio of voters using each unit and establish more clustered precincts.

The poll body will hold a public bidding for the lease of the precinct-based Optical Mark Reader (OMR), Optical Scan (OPSCAN) System, or Voting/Counting Machine (VCM).

Its Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) noted P600,503,500 has already been approved for payment of the contract for the lease of OMR/OPSCAN Precinct Counter with SD Cards.

The procurement will include 10,000 pieces of Main SD Cards and 10,000 pieces of WORMABLE SD Cards.

“Bids received in excess of the ABC (approved budget for the contract) shall be automatically rejected at bid opening,” the SBAC announced.

As provided under the procurement terms, the delivery of the OMR/OPSCAN Precinct Counter must be done in three tranches, particularly 50 units on Nov. 15, 2021; 4,950 units on Dec. 30, 2021; and 5,000 units on Jan. 30, 2022.

The Commission requires the delivery of SD Cards in two batches each, particularly 5,000 pieces each for Main and WORMABLE on Nov. 30, 2021; and 5,000 pieces each for Main and WORMABLE on Dec. 30, 2021.

Interested bidders may acquire until Aug. 24 the complete set of bidding from Monday to Friday at the SBAC Secretariat Office in Intramuros, Manila.

A pre-bid conference open to all prospective bidders is set on Aug. 12 at 10 a.m. It will be done through video conferencing/webcasting via the Microsoft Teams.

The submission of bids can be done by sending and shared electronically to the SBAC Secretariat, first at [email protected] and separately at [email protected]

The opening of bids is on Aug. 24 at 10 a.m. in the presence of the bidders’ representatives who will choose to attend the activity.

Meanwhile, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will again provide a training and certification program for election inspectors that will serve during the automated elections next year.

Science Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said they are already preparing a training and certification program for the 210,320 persons that will comprise the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) for the 2022 polls. The program will focus on boosting their competencies in the information and communications technology (ICT) aspect of their poll duties.

DOST-National Capital Region chief Jose Patalinjug III is in charge of drawing up and implementing the certification program for BEIs. He said the training and certification will be rolled out by March or two months before the elections.

The program, he added, was meant to make sure that the BEIs will have adequate competencies in using the ballot reader and the various automated equipment and machines to be used next year.

The DOST is mandated under Republic Act 9369, which amended RA 8436 or the Automated Election Law, to undertake the certification program for BEIs. – Rainier Allan Ronda