MANILA - The Commission on Elections is set to award to Smartmatic the 1.7 billion-peso contract for the lease purchase of 23,000 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.
This is after the Comelec en banc dismissed Wednesday the two separate motions of reconsideration filed by rival bidders Indra Sistemas and Miru Systems.
Speaking to reporters, Chairman Andres Bautista said the poll body is set to give a notice of award to Smartmatic which is needed to proceed to contract negotiations.
The contract for the 23,000 PCOS machines is separate from the parallel bidding being pursued by the Commission on Elections, after the Supreme Court invalidated the direct contract negotiations between Smartmatic and the poll body for the refurbishment of old 81,000 PCOS machines used in 2010 and 2013.
The parallel bidding includes two tracks: first is the option for the lease purchase of 71,000 new PCOS machines while the second track is for the refurbishment of the old machines.
Just yesterday, Bautista announced to the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms that the Bids and Awards Committee has recommended the award of the lease purchase contract again to Smartmatic but they could not act on it until they have finished with the bidding for the refurbishment contract to be able to decide what track to take.
The start of the second round of bidding for the refurbishment track is scheduled on Saturday with at least two bidders, Smartmatic and Miru Systems, showing their interest to join.