A welcome decision

February 23, 2024 People's Tonight 75 views

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has awarded a multibillion-peso contract to lease an automated poll system for the 2025 national and local elections.

Worth P17.99 billion, the contract was awarded to Miru, a South Korean-led joint venture, according to Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia, an election lawyer.

Garcia said the Comelec approved the contract last Wednesday, just more than seven months before the filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2025 polls.

The joint venture includes three local firms – Integrated Computer Systems, St. Timothy Construction Corp. and Centerpoint Solutions Technologies, Inc.

The winning venture’s bid was lower than the P18.82 billion approved budget for the Full Automation System with Transparency Audit/Count (Fastrac) Project.

Under the contract, MIRU will provide 110,000 automated counting machines, election management systems, consolidation and canvassing systems, ballot printing, ballot boxes and other peripherals.

The new machines would replace the 97,000 vote counting machines procured from Smartmatic Corporation, which were used in the previous three computerized ballotings.

Note that Smartmatic was barred from participating in the Fastrac Project due to an alleged involvement in a bribery case in 2016.

The poll body deserves the suport of all sectors of Pilippines society, including the ordinary citizens, as it exerts efforts to ensure the holding of clean, honest and orderly elections.

It will be good for the country and people.