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Comelec awards P17.99-B vote counting machine contract to lone bidder Miru Systems

The Commission on Elections awarded the contract for vote counting machines for the 2025 national and local polls to the lone bidder South Korean firm Miru Systems.

Poll chairman George Garcia said Thursday the Comelec en banc decided to adopt the recommendation of the Special Bids and Awards Committee and the findings of the technical working group.

“Kahapon nang hapon after ng napakahabang deliberasyon ng Commission en banc at matapos rin naming makita, nakapag demo sa amin ang Miru System, ‘yung kanilang makina, base sa kanilang pinapakita sa atin at saka sa terms of reference ay nag desisyon ang Commission en banc, unanimous po kami, in-adopt namin ang recommendation ng aming Special Bids and Awards Committee at ‘yung findings ng TWG amin din pong in-adopt at sinasabi na dapat maibigay ang award sa Miru Systems at kanyang joint venture na kumpanya,” he said.

(Yesterday afternoon after a lengthy deliberation of the Commission en banc and after Miru's demonstration of its machines, based on what they showed us and the terms of reference, the Commission en banc decided, we are unanimous, to adopt the recommendation of our Special Bids and Awards Committee and the findings of the TWG to award the contract to Miru Systems and its joint venture companies.)

He added Miru will lease to the Comelec around 110,000 machines and peripherals including ballot boxes, laptops, and other printing requirements for the 2025 elections.

Garcia earlier said that if ever the contract is awarded to Miru, they will proceed with the contract negotiations. He also said Miru offers its machine for around P149,000 each.

Aside from the 110,000 voting machines, the contract for the procurement of Full Automation System with Transparency Audit/Count (FASTrAC), valued at P17.988 billion, includes:

  • 104,345 ballot boxes
  • 2,200 Consolidation and Canvassing System server/laptop and printer, and
  • ballot printing, ballot paper for 73,881,894 and ballot verification.

Based on a notice of award sent to Miru, the joint venture should submit a supply and delivery management plan, valid joint venture agreement, and post performance security in an amount equal to a percentage of the total contract price within 10 calendar days.

Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo earlier said the voting machines will be customized based on the wishlist of the poll body.

“This machine is ours, sa Comelec talaga ito. Kami ang gumawa ng [terms of reference], kami ang gumawa ng mga wishlist namin. Sila ang sumunod. So if you noticed, this is customized machine which wala pang production nito,” Casquejo said

(This machine is ours, it really belongs to the Comelec. We made the [terms of reference] and our wishlists. Miru just followed. So if you noticed, this is a customized machine which has not yet been produced.)

Lawmakers, election watchdogs, and other groups earlier expressed concern and called on the Comelec to stay vigilant and review Miru's track record.

But, Miru Systems said the allegations of election failures due to its technology were false.

“The company designs, develops, and manufactures secure electoral systems that are of international standard,” it said in a statement.

“Throughout the years we have conducted several projects locally and abroad… and developed multiple systems internally for all types of electoral stages,” Marcelo Daniel Magaña, Miru overseas sales representative, said in a separate statement.

Miru is joined by Integrated Computer Systems and St. Timothy Construction Corporation and Centerpoint Solutions Technologies, Inc. in the joint venture for the Comelec procurement.

It was declared ineligible in the first round of bidding in December 2023 for failure to meet the legal requirements of the lease contract. Comelec SMAC conducted a second round of bidding where Miru submitted new documents.

In January, Miru was deemed eligible to proceed with the bidding process after complying with all the legal and financial requirements for the project.—AOL, GMA Integrated News