Comelec opens bidding for new election machines, system for 2025 polls

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has officially opened the bidding for the P18.827-billion lease contract for a new automated election system for the 2025 midterm polls, Comelec chairperson George Garcia announced on Tuesday.

“Napost na po sa PHILGEPS (Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System) ‘yung aming gagawing procurement para sa mga makinang gagamitin sa 2025. Ine-engganyo po natin ang lahat ng suppliers nationwide and worldwide na mag-participate po sa procurement,” Garcia said at a press conference.

(The procurement for the election machines that will be used in 2025 has been posted on PHILGEPS. So we are encouraging all suppliers nationwide and worldwide to participate in this procurement.)

A copy of the Invitation to Bid for the lease of the Full Automation System with Transparency Audit/Count (FASTrAC) for the 2025 National and Local Elections was also posted on the Comelec’s website.

According to Garcia, the procurement will include the hardware, software, transmission and internet voting for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Automated BSKE

The Comelec chief mentioned this as he reiterated the importance of making the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) fully automated.

“’Yan naman po ‘yung mandato rin ng batas. Talagang dapat automated election na po tayo sapagkat napakahirap po ng manual. Isipin niyo po yung bibilangin niyo, ‘yung kapitan,  tapos ‘yung SK meron ka pang ibang plebisito,” he said.

(That is mandated under the law that we should automate the elections because it is very difficult if we stick to the manual voting for the BSKE as we will count the votes for the barangay officials, the SK members, then there are also plebiscites.)

Aside from this, Garcia reiterated that faster canvassing of votes would result in lesser election-related violence.

“Alam niyo ‘pag mabilis walang violence… Napakabilis walang makapag-complain, walang makapag delay…kasi pumapasok ang results… so yun ang kagandahan o advantage ng automated election,” he said.

“Sana nga po sa mga darating na panahon, mapag-isipan na ang BSKE, walang problem and at the same time, mas mabilis, mas accurate ang results,” he added.

(If the canvassing is faster, there will be less violence. No one can contest or delay the canvassing because the results are automatically counted.  That is the advantage of an automated election. I hope we will consider this in the near future because this will save us a lot of time and the results are more accurate.)

Proposals to fully-automate the BSKE has been proposed in Congress which prompted the Comelec to conduct a pilot test in three polling sites during the October 30 polls.

In Barangay Zone II, Dasmariñas, Cavite, which has 3 clustered precincts, the winners were proclaimed at 5:43 p.m.

The proclamation of winners in Barangay Paliparan III in Dasmariñas, Cavite which has 101 clustered precincts was at 8:52 p.m. while in Barangay Pasong Tamo in Quezon City which has 133 clustered precincts was at 9:32 p.m. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News

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