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Comelec Resumes Bidding Process on Poll Automation Project

MANILA, May 15 -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) resumed on Friday the opening of the bids for the 2010 poll computerization project after granting on Wednesday the motions for reconsideration filed by four automation companies.

Atty. Ferdinand Rafanan, head of the Comelec's Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC), said they would try to finish the deliberations on the eligibility documents so that they can proceed immediately with the technical and financial documentations.

After passing the first stage -- the opening of the bids -- the company or companies will undergo the post- qualification screening after which the winning bidder with the lowest bid amount will be announced.

The first documents to be deliberated were those of Indras Sistemas (Strategic Holdings Inc./Hart Intercivic), followed by Smartmatic/Total Information Management Corp., AMA Group of Companies/Election System and Software, and Gilat/F.F. Cruz and Company Inc./Filipinas Systems Inc.

"Lahat ng eligibility documents noong apat (na company) ay tatapusin natin para mabuksan na natin ang technical documents," Rafanan said.

He added that that they would continue to scrutinize the documents and try to finish them over the weekend as they need to conduct the demonstration of the machines early next week.

The four companies were given a second chance to have a shot on the P11.3-billion poll automation contract after they filed their respective motion for reconsideration.

The Comelec will be leasing more than 80,000 machines using the new technology, Precinct Counting Optical Scan (PCOS) system.

The poll body is set to announce the winning bidder before the end of the month. (PNA)