Korea-led joint venture bags Comelec deal

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star
Korea-led joint venture bags Comelec deal
This file photo shows a vote-counting machine used by the Commission on Elections.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — A joint venture led by South Korean firm Miru Systems Co. Ltd. bagged the multibillion-peso contract for the lease of voting machines to be used in the May 2025 midterm polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced yesterday.

“Via a unanimous vote, the Commission en banc approved the recommendation of the Special Bids and Awards Committee to award to the joint venture the contract for the procurement project lease of Full Automation System with Transparency Audit/Count (FASTrAC),” the Comelec said.

Miru Systems’ partners in the lease contract are Timothy Construction Corp. and Centerpoint Solutions Technologies Inc.

Comelec Chairman George Garcia said the poll body came out with its unanimous decision after a long deliberation.

Garcia noted that the joint venture was able to customize the voting machines in accordance with the “wish list” or terms of reference of the Commission.

One of the features of the voting machines is a touch screen that allows voters to make changes or corrections in the names of candidates they initially listed on the ballots.

He said the voter may counter-check and see the summary of the ballot fed into the machine.

According to Garcia, the Comelec would also be able to save P800 million with the contract.

The joint venture offered to lease the voting machines to the Comelec for P149,000 or about P6,000 less than the budget allotted by the poll body.

Garcia said an evaluation conducted by the SBAC and the Technical Working Group found as untrue the allegations of malfunctioning machines against the joint venture.

He said the Comelec expects the production of all the 110,000 machines to be completed in six months or around September.

With the issuance of the Notice of Award, Comelec spokesman John Rex Laudiangco said contract negotiations and contract signing would follow, “after which the notice to proceed shall be issued.”

The contract amounting to P17,988,878,226.55 consists of 110,000 automated counting machines, 104,345 ballot boxes, 2,200 CCS server/laptops and printer as well as ballot printing, ballot paper for 73,881,894 and ballot verification.

In its recommendation to the Comelec, the TWG said it verified the allegations of malfunctioning of voting machines supplied by the lone bidder in Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo and concluded that the joint venture is post-qualified for the lease project.

The joint venture has been required to supply and deliver a management plan within 10 days of receipt of the notice of award.

Miru Systems, in a statement, welcomed the Comelec decision.

“We look forward to showing more members of the Filipino public how our solutions can help elevate the country’s democratic process,” it said.

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