By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is purchasing more than 72,000 ballot boxes for the May 2019 midterm polls.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said the purchase of new ballot boxes arose from the non-availability of the majority of boxes used in the 2016 elections due to pending electoral protests, one of which is the protest case of former senator Bongbong Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.
“Many ballot boxes are currently either involved in pending electoral protests or covered by the Precautionary Protective Order (PPO) issued by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET),” he said in an interview. “We cannot use these ballot boxes for the 2019 elections, making it necessary to procure new ones,” added Jimenez.
The PET earlier issued a PPO ordering the poll body to preserve and safeguard the integrity of, among others, all the ballot boxes and their contents, including the ballots, voter’s receipts and election returns involved in the Marcos versus Robredo case.
In its Invitation to Bid, the COMELEC-Bids and Awards Committee has allocated P173,755,524 (at P2,396 per ballot box) for the purchase of 72,519 pieces of ballot boxes.
Interested bidders may acquire a complete set of Bidding Documents at the COMELEC-BAC Secretariat located at the Shipping Center Bldg. in Intramuros, Manila until September 21.
The Pre-Bid Conference on September 7 will be held at 10 am at the EBAD Conference Room located at the Palacio del Gobernador Bldg. in Intramuros, Manila.
Bid Opening shall be held on September 21 at 10 am at the same venue.
The COMELEC-BAC said all bids must be duly received by the BAC Secretariat on or before 9 am of the said day.