The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has deferred the pre-bidding conference for the P18.8-billion lease contract for automated vote counting machines to be used for the 2025 midterm polls, Comelec spokesman Rex Laudiangco said.
Laudiangco was referring to the pre-bidding conference for the lease of Full Automation System with Transparency Audit/Count (FASTrAC).
Asked for reason for the postponement, Laudiangco cited the issuance of Bid Bulletin No. 1 by the Special Bids and Awards Committee on the Automated Elections System for the 2025 National and Local Elections “clarifying matters and answering initial queries from prospective bidders.”
Comelec chairman George Garcia earlier said the poll body has officially opened the bidding for the lease contract for FASTrAC since the procurement process for such project was already posted in the PHILGEPS or the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System.
“Ine-engganyo po natin ang lahat ng suppliers nationwide and worldwide na mag-participate po sa procurement, (We are encouraging all suppliers nationwide and worldwide to participate in the procurement),” Garcia said at a press conference on October 31.
Garcia said the procurement will include the hardware, software, transmission and internet voting for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
The Comelec chairman has consistently advocated for the conduct of fully automated polls, saying an automated system will guarantee fast and accurate results and prevent human intervention and election-related violence.