Poll body goes for ‘cheaper’ secrecy folders for 2013

AFTER the turmoil created by the ballot secrecy folder purchase in 2010, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has opted to go for much cheaper ones for the May 2013 polls.

Based on its Invitation to Bid, the Comelec – Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) is calling for bidders for over one million ballot secrecy folders to be used in the midterm elections priced at P35.33 per piece.

More than two years ago, One Time Carbon (OTC) Paper Supply Inc. was awarded by the then BAC the P690-million ballot secrecy folder procurement project, wherein 1.8 million ballot secrecy folders are procured for P380 each.

The controversy has resulted in the filing of graft cases against BAC chief Maria Lea Alarkon and its members as well as Comelec Executive Director Jose Tolentino before the Office of the Ombudsman and their eventual placement under preventive suspension.

It also led to the cancellation of the procurement and forced the Comelec to opt for ordinary folders being used to cover the ballots while they are being filled up by voters.

For the 2013 polls, the Comelec is procuring 1,082,400 pieces of ballot secrecy folders for a total of P38.24 million.

The procurement is included in the 82 items of election supplies set to be used by the Comelec in the May 13, 2013 polls.

Other items include bond papers, compact discs, correction tapes, expanding envelopes, notebooks, ballpens, correction fluids, paper clips, packaging tapes, Comelec Cargo stickers, plastic acetates, staple wires, zip locks, yellow pad papers, punchers, and cutters, among others.

All in all, the Comelec has allotted an Approved Bidding Contract (ABC) worth 127,429,877.62 for the election supplies.

The BAC said interested bidders may already purchase the complete set of bidding documents at the BAC Secretariat at the 2/F Shipping Center Building in Intramuros, Manila, upon payment of a non-refundable fee of P50,000.

On the other hand, the bid documents may be downloaded at the Comelec website for free although the Bidders are required to pay the fee not later than the submission of their bids.

The submission of bids shall be on January 10, 2013 at 10 a.m. at the Comelec Session Hall at the Palacio del Gobernador Building in Intramuros, Manila, with bidders required to submit a sample of each item together with their bid envelopes. (HDT/Sunnex)

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