By Ferdinand Patinio

(File photo)

MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has extended the deadline for the submission of bids for its 2025 polls automation project.

In its Bid Bulletin No. 1 released on Friday, the Comelec – Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) said the deadline was moved from Jan. 4, 2024 to Jan. 8 for the submission and opening of bids for the second bidding cycle of the Full Automation System with Transparency Audit/Count project worth PHP18.8 billion.

The adjustment was made to “give ample time to all bidders to prepare their bids due to the magnitude and numerous requirements of the project.”

The SBAC added that the extension was implemented as it did not receive any payment for the purchase of bid documents which costs PHP75,000.

“As of today, no bidder has purchased our bidding documents,” SBAC chairperson Allen Francis Abaya said during the pre-bid conference at the Comelec main office in Intramuros, Manila on Friday morning.

He added that they are not discounting the possibility of extending the deadline again for submission and opening of bids.

“We will discuss the possibility of extending the submission of bids considering the tightness of the (schedule), particularly on the renewal of licenses,” he said.

Those who attended the activity were potential bidders Unisyn Voting Solutions, Dominion Voting Systems, Miru Systems Co. Ltd., and International Lottery and Totalizor Systems Inc.

Parties may submit their bids at the SBAC Secretariat Office at the Far East Managers and Investors Incorporated Building, also in Intramuros, on or before 9 a.m. of Jan. 8.

The opening of bids will follow at 10:30 a.m.

A second round of public bidding for the automated election project was set after the SBAC declared a failure in the initial bidding for the project on Dec. 14. (PNA)