"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Monday, May 18, 2009

Commending Comelec-SBAC's grant of bidders' MR

For allowing the bidding process to continue and ensuring that the automation of the May 2010 presidential elections happens, Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.) expressed elation with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Gordon, father of modernization of elections in the Philippines, said it is a welcome development towards the realization of the nation's quest for clean, honest and credible elections.

"I am glad that the Comelec is finally making a move to ensure the implementation of the automation law which would mean holding an election where the winning candidates are assured of having the people's mandate," he said.

"The success of the 2010 election automation is very important because a credible election system would restore people's trust and confidence not only in the country's electoral process but also in the government," he added.

The Comelec is preparing for the automation of next year's election, as mandated by Republic Act 9369 or the amended Automated Election System that Gordon authored. The opening of bids for the election automation technology to be used was held last May 4. However, all seven bidders failed to meet certain eligibility requirements.

After conducting deliberations this week, the Comelec-Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) decided to grant the motions for reconsideration of four bidders.

The SBAC granted the motions for reconsideration by Indra Sistemas (Strategic Holdings, Inc./Hart Intercivic); Smartmatic/Total Information Management Corp.; AMA Group of companies/Election System and Software; and Gilat/F.F. Cruz and Company, Inc./Filipinas Systems, Inc.

The four firms will have to undergo final eligibility screening to determine the accuracy and validity of the documents attached in their motions that served as the bases for reconsideration. After the validation, the companies will be asked to submit their technical and financial proposals for the project.

Gordon underscored the need for the poll body to be careful in choosing the most responsive bidder, stressing anew that automating the country's elections is a way of modernizing our democracy.

"The Comelec should act with circumspection in trying to get the best bidder because the automation of next year's elections will be a game-changer in Philippine politics," he said.

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