Monday, 4 May 2009

Bidding for Philippines' P11.3-billion poll automation project kicks off

Emilia Narni J. David

SERVICE PROVIDERS will bid today for the multibillion-peso project to automate next year’s general elections, the first in the country’s history on a national scale.

Ten companies have been pre-qualified to participate, and the winner will be announced not later than May 26. The elections are set for May 10, 2010.

In a telephone interview with BusinessWorld, Ramon C. Casiple, member of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) advisory council on election automation, said some companies may pool their resources and form a consortium to meet the minimum bid requirement.

He added there is no front-runner since "each has [its] strengths and weaknesses."

The Comelec has said all measures are in place to protect the process from any rigging, including secluding members of the special bids and awards committee to avoid influence-peddling.

Ten companies have expressed interest in the P11.3-billion project. These are Total Information Management (TIM)/ Smartmatic, Avante International Technology, Inc., Syrex Corp./ Scantron, DVS Philippines/ Samsung, Indra Sistemas S.A., Universal Storefront Services Co./ Sequoia, All Data Hub International, Inc., Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd., AMA Group Holdings Corp./ ES&S International, and Mega Data Corp.

Two firms — Smartmatic and Avante — had participated in last year’s Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao elections.

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