Folder supplier bags new poll deal
By Mayen Jaymalin
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – The controversial winning bidder of the botched and overpriced secrecy folder deal has bagged a new contract with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
The Comelec has awarded OTC Paper Supply a P5.7-million contract for the supply and delivery of stamp pads to be used in the May polls.
A notice of award released by the Comelec’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) yesterday showed that the poll body awarded the contract for the supply and delivery of 350,000 pieces of thumbprint and fingerprint taker or stamp pads to OTC at P16 each.
OTC gained notoriety for its recent involvement in the Comelec’s planned procurement of a specially designed ballot secrecy folder at a price of P380 each.
Comelec Chairman Jose Melo earlier admitted lapses on the part of the commission and ordered the cancellation of the approved P689.7-million ballot secrecy folder contract with OTC Paper Supply.
Although the Comelec decided to cancel the contract for the ballot secrecy folder, Melo maintained that OTC had a good track record based on deals with the Comelec in past elections.
Smartmatic bags another contract
In another development, the supplier of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines to be used in the May polls has bagged a P499-million contract with the Comelec.
The Comelec yesterday reported that it had awarded Smartmatic International Corp. the contract for the tracking and delivery services of official ballots.
In its website, Comelec’s BAC chair Maria Lea Alarkon reported the Comelec has approved the resolution awarding the contract for the tracking and delivery services of official ballots amounting to P499,180,327.87.
Comelec sources said there was no bidding held for the contract because it was an emergency procurement.
Aside from supplying the P7.2-billion PCOS machines, Comelec also awarded to Smartmatic the P519-million contract for the procurement of ballot boxes and transportation of PCOS machines to all polling centers nationwide.
Smartmatic, which has organized elections using electronic voting solutions in Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States, was one of seven bidders for the 2010 election automation project.
After passing the eligibility, technical and financial requirements, the Comelec awarded the poll automation contract to Smartmatic in June last year.
Meanwhile, the Comelec has officially awarded the contract for the procurement of 720,000 bottles of indelible ink to Texas Resources Corp.
Comelec said the indelible ink shall contain at least seven percent silver nitrate with blue dye with not more than 1.75 percent additives and solvents.
The Comelec initially ordered a re-bidding for the purchase of indelible ink but immediately backtracked from its decision allegedly due to lack of time.
Comelec adjusts delivery procedures
In an interview, Comelec Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer said the ballots would no longer be sent to the offices of provincial treasurers as has been done in the previous polls.
Instead, the ballots would be sent directly to the city and municipal treasurers’ offices, prior to their distribution to the polling precincts. With Sheila Crisostomo