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Smartmatic eyes COMELEC's 'other services' for 2013 elections

Smartmatic Asia Pacific President Cesar Flores said that his company intends to participate in the bidding for the Commission on Elections' "various services". Among the services up for bidding are warehouse leasing, technical support personnel, ballots and ballot boxes, materials deployment, and electronic transmission services. “Absolutely we’ll be joining. I think on all of them, logistics, ballot paper, printing of the ballots etc.," said Flores. In March, the Comelec en banc voted 5-2 to again purchase Smartmatic’s Precinct Count Optical Scan, or PCOS, machines for the upcoming polls. Given this purchase, Flores denied his company has the advantage in the upcoming biddings. “We will be competing with all other bidders in the same competitive basis," he said. Meanwhile, Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said, “We in the Comelec en banc have talked about it, and we see no reason to prohibit Smartmatic from bidding on other services. It’s a level playing field." Meanwhile, poll body Chairman Sixto Brillantes said that they will soon start the bidding for services, with the requirements to be published during the first week of July. — Gian C. Geronimo/DVM, GMA News