Comelec supports NPO on award of the ballot printing contract to HFPC

November 8, 2012 11:12 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 8 — Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. has supported the decision of the National Printing Office (NPO) to award the P780-million contract to print and supply 55 million ballots for the 2013 elections to the Holy Family Printing Corp. (HFPC) and partner Canon Marketing Philippines.

The Comelec chief's statement was issued after some losing bidders protested the awarding of the multimillion-peso contract.

Brillantes said that the HPFC and its partner passed the mandatory post-qualification tests for sample ballots on a second try.

Although he confirmed that there was a problem encountered during the first post-qualification test, Brillantes said the HFPC scored perfect when the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine accepted all its 1,000 sample ballots in the second testing.

"There's no bidding that was not criticized by the losing bidders. Only God knows if we will encounter any problem (on election day). But, I think there will be no problem," Brillantes said.

However, the Comelec chief assured that the poll body will use its veto power under its agreement with the NPO in case it finds something irregular on the bidding process and qualifications of the winning bidder.

Aside from HFPC, the other bidders include Advance Computer Forms Inc., ASA Color and Chemical Industries Inc., Smarmatic Philippines, and ePDS Inc. Joint Venture.

It was Smartmatic Philippines that questioned HFPC's qualifications, saying the latter failed the mandatory post-qualification tests for sample ballots using Smartmatic’s PCOS machines.

Cesar Flores, Smartmatic Asia Pacific president, noted that during the testing of the sample ballots supplied by HFPC, more than half of the attempts of the winning bidder to feed their sample prototype ballots into the PCOS machines were rejected.

Likewise, the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) was also scored for the alleged hasty decision to award the contract to the HFPC. (PNA)

SCS/FGP/UTB

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