THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Friday, November 17, 2023, that it is looking at having at least five companies to join the public bidding for the 2025 automated election system (AES) project.
In an interview, Comelec Chairman George Garcia said they are hoping that there will be "more than" five companies that will submit their bids for the Full Automation System with Transparency Audit/Count (FASTrAC) project come November 28.
"We hope that there will be more than five participants. The more more choices, the better it is for the Commission," said Garcia.
"There are many available technologies and counting machines now. It would be better if the Comelec will have more choices," he added.
So far, only Smartmatic Philippines-TIM Incorporated, Pivot International, and Miru Systems Co. Ltd. have purchased the bidding documents for the P18.8 billion project.
He said, though, that he believes that there are still other potential service providers that will acquire the bidding documents.
"There are those who choose to initially not signify their intentions, listen first to the discussions, and decide later on whether to purchase the bid documents and participate in our bidding or not," he said.
Asked if he believes that Smartmatic will join the bidding process, he said chances are the multinational firm shall participate.
To note, Smartmatic previously stated that it is still assessing if it is feasible to join the public bidding "business wise."
"Bidding documents are not free. You have to purchase to get a copy of it. So, most likely, they will be participating," said Garcia.
The deadline for the submission of bids is on November 28 at 9 a.m. at the SBAC Secretariat Office.
The opening of bids is set on November 28 at 10:30 a.m. at the Comelec Hall at the Palacio del Gobernador Building. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)