COMELEC holds pre-bidding conference

27 03 2009

dsc_00381The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) held a pre-bidding conference today of prospective election systems suppliers for the automation of the May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections.

The conference was held at the Bureau of the Treasury Conference Room at the Third Floor of the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Manila.

According to the poll body’s Education and Information Department (EID), ten firms have already secured the necessary bid documents, including the terms of reference from the COMELEC. They are:

Total Information Management (T.I.M.) / Smartmatic; Avante International Technology, Inc.; Syrex Corporation / Scantron; DVS Philippines /Samsung; Indra Sistemas S.A.; Universal Storefront Services Company / Sequoia; All Data Hub International, Inc.; Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd.; AMA Group Holdings Corporation / ES&S International and Mega Data Corporation.

The EID released this fact sheet on the pre-bid conference:


The Pre-Bid Conference for the 2010 Automation Project is scheduled to begin promptly at 10 am, at the Convention Hall of the Bureau of the Treasury, at the 3rd Floor of the Palacio del Gobernador Building.

The Pre-Bid Conference is the opportunity for those who have purchased Bid Documents to raise – before the Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) – concerns they may have about any part of the Bid Documents.

These concerns may cover a wide range of matters – anything from complex questions regarding technical specifications to simple requests for clarification.

All inquiries will be addressed and the SBAC’s responses will be contained in a Bid Bulletin that shall be posted on the websites of the COMELEC ( and the Government E-Procurement System.

All Bid Bulletins become integral components of the Bid Documents. It is the responsibility of the holders of the Bid Documents to inquire about, and secure copies of any Bid Bulletins that may be issued by the SBAC.

After the Pre-Bid Conference, holders of Bid Documents may still submit written queries to the SBAC. The last day for submitting written queries is April 17,2009 or ten days before the April 27 deadline for the submission of Bids.

Replies to written queries submitted after the Pre-Bid Conference will likewise be in the form of Bid Bulletins and shall form part of the Bid Documents.

The Pre-Bid Conference will be open to the public. However, only the holders of Bid Documents will be able to address the SBAC directly, and only on matters directly related or connected to the Bid Documents.

dsc_00481“It’s a good pre-bid conference. The bidders were duly represented. There was a very lively discussion especially on the eligibility requirements. The bidders were satified,” said Dir. Ferdinand Rafanan, Chairperson of the COMELEC’s Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC).

“I think we were able to communicate with them (bidders) our resolve to be fair, transparent and independent,” he said, adding that the COMELEC, thru the SBAC, will continue to “study the rules, answer their queries and prepare for the opening of bids on April 27, 2009.”

Meanwhile, COMELEC Chairman Jose A.R. Melo has reiterated the poll body’s commitment to ensure transparency on the bidding process.

“The whole bidding process will be covered by the media. Everything will be taped para we can replay everything and makita ng lahat na open na open tayo. Lalo na kapag binuksan na natin ang mga bids. We will open the proceedings to everybody who wants to attend and observe, especially the media,” the COMELEC chief said.



GMA signs P11.3-billion budget for automation of 2010 polls

24 03 2009


By Paolo Romero Updated March 24, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – President Arroyo yesterday approved the supplemental budget of P11.3 billion for the full automation of next year’s national elections.

Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Gabriel Claudio said the supplemental budget was enacted as Republic Act 9525.

“We see no more obstacles to the implementation of a fully automated election system that will ensure honest, efficient and credible polls next year,” Claudio said.

“With the enactment of the budget into law, the President is living up to her commitment to modernize the electoral process through automation in order to safeguard the true will of the Filipino electorate,” he said.

“With full automation, we look forward to the holding of 2010 elections as a landmark democratic exercise that will bring about greater political stability and harmony.”

When asked why the signing was done quietly, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said Mrs. Arroyo is only being true to her promise to the public that she would sign the bill funding as soon as it reaches her desk.

“What’s important is that the President delivers on her promises, in this case, the automation of our elections,” Remonde said.

He said the Palace received on Friday the enrolled copy of the bill that Congress approved earlier this month.

He added the modernization of the elections is one of the major legacies the administration wants to leave behind.

The process to decide who will supply the machines will begin on Friday, election officials said. Six companies, including several foreign groups, have expressed interest.

Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno, Arroyo’s election strategist, said the automation of elections would mean that candidates would have to file nominations earlier than usual.

“They will have to file their certificates of candidacy by late November this year to allow the elections commission to print their names in the ballots,” Puno said. Previously, nominations were due only four months before elections.

Meanwhile, Sen. Francis Escudero yesterday called on the Comelec to make sure safeguards are in place to prevent automated cheating in the 2010 elections.

“After nine long years of mal-administration, our country cannot afford to have a failure of elections next year. If that happens, our people will completely lose faith in the electoral process,” said Escudero, who chairs the Senate’s Committee on Electoral Reforms and the Oversight Committee on the Automated Electoral System.

Escudero was among those who voted against the P11.3-billion supplemental budget.

He said that during the hearings, the Comelec failed to answer basic questions on how it would implement the poll automation project.

Escudero also asked how the Comelec would deal with the expected long list of candidates from the presidential to the city and municipal councils and the possibility that voters would commit mistakes in filling up the ballot.

Escudero said the Senate oversight committee would now focus and closely monitor the way the Comelec would spend the funds and implement the unprecedented plan to hold the country’s first fully automated election.

Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Gordon has called on first-time voters to think carefully before selecting the country’s next president because the country’s future depends on the outcome of next year’s elections.

Gordon told senior students of School of the Holy Spirit in Quezon City who will vote for the first time in 2010 that they would have to vote responsibly if they want to change the country’s bleak future.

“A leader must know how to tap the people’s spirit and make you do something better than what you are currently doing. You do not just pick anybody from thin air, you do not just get anybody because she or he is nice,” Gordon told the students in a forum.

He also told them that they should demand debates from candidates so they can get to know and scrutinize the candidates’ qualifications objectively.

Meanwhile, to minimize electoral fraud in next year’s elections, Comelec is mulling advance voting in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) next year.

According to Comelec chairman Jose Melo, they might hold the election in ARMM on April 20 instead of May 10 next year.

“Personally, I am in favor of it so that the concentration of our security forces and the election administration would be focused on the ARMM. If that would be the case, there might be less shenanigans there,” Melo said.

ARMM has been tagged as the “cheating capital” of the Philippines, owing to the alleged electoral fraud there in the 2004 local and national elections and in the 2007 mid-term polls.

The Comelec is now drafting a calendar of activities for the 2010 polls but it has not promulgated a resolution effecting such changes.

But Comelec commissioner Elias Yusoph disagrees with the plan.

Yusoph, who hails from Marawi City, noted that advancing the election in ARMM would be against the Omnibus Election Code.

“We still have to amend the law. The law provides that the elections must be held simultaneously, nationwide,” Yusoph added.

Comelec commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer said that some ARMM officials are opposed to the plan, because that is tantamount to discriminating against the region.

“They don’t like that because that would be like (officially) marking (ARMM) as an area where cheating occurs,” Ferrer added.

The Comelec is now studying the areas in ARMM that have the potential to be election hot spots in next year’s elections. – With Christina Mendez, Sheila Crisostomo


Pulse Asia’s February 2009 Nationwide Survey on the May 2010 Elections

12 03 2009

Pulse Asia is pleased to share with you some findings on the May 2010 Elections from the February 2009 Ulat ng Bayan national survey. We request you to assist us in informing the public by disseminating this information.

The survey fieldwork was conducted from February 2 to 15, 2009 using face-to-face interviews. In the period prior to and during the conduct of this survey, the news headlines focused on the alleged bribery of several officials from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in relation to a drug case; the reported bid rigging behind road projects in the country being funded by the World Bank (WB); the planned automation of the May 2010 elections; the revival of congressional discussions on constitutional amendments; controversies involving the Supreme Court including the aborted plan to file impeachment charges against Chief Justice Reynato Puno; the closure of some companies and the laying off of workers both here and abroad; the Arroyo administration’s efforts to create jobs and provide assistance to laid off workers; and, the US Presidential election and the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

As in our previous surveys, this nationwide survey is based on a sample of 1,200 representative adults 18 years old and above. It has a ± 3% error margin at the 95% confidence level.  Subnational estimates for each of the geographic areas covered in the survey (i.e., Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) have a ± 6% error margin, also at 95% confidence level. Those interested in further technical details concerning the survey’s questionnaire and sampling design may request Pulse Asia in writing for fuller details, including copies of the pre-tested questions actually used.

Pulse Asia’s pool of academic fellows takes full responsibility for the design and conduct of the survey, as well as for analyses it makes based on the survey data. In keeping with our academic nature, no religious, political, economic, or partisan group influenced any of these processes.  Pulse Asia undertakes Ulat ng Bayan surveys on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort.

For any clarification or questions, kindly contact Ronald D. Holmes, Pulse Asia President at 09189335497 or Dr. Ana Maria Tabunda, Pulse Asia Chief Research Fellow at 09189436816.

Most Filipinos are convinced the May 2010 elections will be held as scheduled and believe that there will be much trouble in the country if the elections are not held

For 65% of Filipinos, there is a big possibility that the next elections will push through according to schedule – a sentiment shared by small to big majorities (55% to 76%) across geographic areas and socio-economic classes. About one in ten (13%) believes otherwise and 22% are undecided on the matter. Between October 2008 and February 2009, the overall level of indecision declines (-8 percentage points) while there is a slight increase (+6 percentage points) in the percentage of Filipinos expecting the next elections to be held as scheduled (See Table 1).

A bare majority of Filipinos (51%) is of the opinion that the postponement or cancellation of the May 2010 elections will cause much trouble in the country.  This is a view articulated by small majorities (51% to 56%) across all geographic areas and socio-economic classes, with the exception of Mindanao where this sentiment is expressed by a big plurality (44%).  On the other hand, 27% of Filipinos do not believe that much trouble will ensue if the May 2010 elections are not held while 21% are ambivalent on the matter.  The only notable movement in the overall figures between October 2008 and February 2009 is the 8-percentage point drop in the level of indecision on the matter (See Table 1).

No clear winner would emerge in the presidential race if the May 2010 elections were held today

If the May 2010 elections were conducted now, it would be a very close race with four probable candidates enjoying nearly the same overall voter preferences. These are Vice-President Noli L. de Castro (19%), Senator Francis G. Escudero (17%), former President Joseph Estrada (16%), and Senator Manuel B. Villar, Jr. (15%). In addition to these four individuals, Senator Loren Legarda also scores a double-digit overall voter preference (12%). The other personalities included in Pulse Asia’s presidential probe obtain single-digit overall voter preferences – Senator Manuel A. Roxas II (8%), Senator Panfilo M. Lacson (6%), Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay (2%), and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairperson Bayani Fernando (1%). But while Filipinos continue to be divided in their choice for the country’s next president, virtually all of them have a favored presidential candidate with less than one in ten (4%) not expressing support for any of the nine individuals included in this survey’s presidential probe (See Table 2).

Across geographic areas and socio-economic classes, Senator Escudero is the preferred presidential bet in Metro Manila (27%) and the best-off Class ABC (23%) while in the Visayas, Senator Villar has an edge (25%) over the others. In Mindanao and the poorest Class E, Vice-President de Castro (24% and 19%, respectively) and former President Estrada (23% and 20%, respectively) enjoy almost the same level of electoral support. Those in the rest of Luzon are almost equally supportive of the presidential bids of Vice-President de Castro (19%), Senator Escudero (17%), ex-President Estrada (17%), Senator Legarda (15%), and Senator Villar (14%). In the most numerous Class D, Vice-President de Castro (20%) has a slight lead over the other probable candidates (See Table 2).

The overall figures recorded in February 2009 do not differ significantly from those posted in October 2008 with whatever changes being recorded during this period (-2 to +2 percentage points) clearly falling within the survey’s margin of error (+/- 3 percentage points) (See Table 3).

The vice-presidential race continues to be a two-way contest between Senators Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda

While 26% of Filipinos would vote for Senator Escudero as vice-president if the May 2010 elections were held today, 22% would support the candidacy of Senator Legarda.  These two legislators enjoy nearly the same levels of electoral support in the rest of Luzon (25% versus 23%), the Visayas (28% versus 23%), Mindanao (21% versus 19%), Class D (25% versus 23%), and Class E (22% versus 24%).  However, Senator Escudero has an edge over Senator Legarda in Metro Manila (30% versus 22%) and Class ABC (36% versus 14%) (See Table 4).

The only other personality who scores a double-digit vice-presidential voter preference is Vice-President de Castro (14%).  The other probable candidates included in the vice-presidential probe register voter preferences of 8% or less.  A negligible percentage of Filipinos (3%) does not have a favored vice-presidential candidate at the moment (See Table 4).

Between October 2008 and February 2009, Senator Escudero enjoys a slight improvement in his overall voter preference (+5 percentage points).  During this period, the other probable vice-presidential candidates included in the survey do not register any notable movements – positive or negative – in their respective voter preferences (See Table 5).

Public interest in the May 2010 senatorial elections remains high; 16 of the 65 personalities included in the senatorial probe have a statistical chance of winning if the elections were conducted now

With a little over a year to go before the May 2010 elections, Filipinos continue to express much interest in the next electoral exercise as they name a mean of ten and a median of 12 (out of a maximum of 12) of their preferred senatorial candidates.  Across all of the survey’s sub-groupings, mean figures range from nine to ten names while a median figure of 12 is recorded in every geographic area and socio-demographic grouping (See Table 6).

Out of the 65 personalities whose senatorial voter preferences are probed in this survey, 16 have a statistical chance of winning if the May 2010 elections were held today.  Virtually all Filipinos have at least one preferred senatorial candidate.  Currently leading the senatorial race is Senator Jinggoy Estrada whose overall voter preference (52.8%) puts him anywhere from 1st to 3rd places.  In 1st to 4th places are Senator Pia S. Cayetano (48.8%) and Senator Manuel A. Roxas II (48.8%).  Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s re-election bid receives the support of 47.0% of Filipinos and gives her a statistical ranking of 2nd to 5th places.  Finding himself in 4th to 7th places is former Senate President Franklin M. Drilon (42.7%) (See Table 7a and 7b).

Senator Jamby A.S. Madrigal would be re-elected by 38.8% of Filipinos while Senator Ramon Revilla, Jr. would win another senatorial term with the support of 37.8% of Filipinos.  Both legislators are ranked from 5th to 11th places.  Sharing the 6th to the 12th spots are Atty. Aquilino L. Pimentel (36.1%), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Ralph G. Recto (35.5%), former Senator Sergio Osmeña III (33.8%), and Optical Media Board (OMB) Chairperson Edu Manzano (33.4%).  Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Chairperson Vicente C. Sotto III is in 8th to 16th places with 31.2% backing his return to the Senate.  Completing the list of probable winners are Ms. Korina Sanchez (28.0%), Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (27.6%), Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay (27.2%), and Senator Richard Gordon (26.9%) – all landing in 12th to 16th places (See Table 7a and 7b).

Between October 2008 and February 2009, OMB Chairperson Manzano enjoys a significant improvement in his overall voter preference (+19.6 percentage points).  The only other personality who registers a higher voter preference this quarter relative to October 2008 is Senator Estrada (+7.7 percentage points).  During this period, there are no significant gains or erosions in the voter preferences of those candidates with a statistical chance of winning in the senatorial race (See Table 8a and 8b).

First Time Voters Network Registration Center in Makati

12 03 2009


COMELEC to hold satellite registration for Tondo folk

10 03 2009

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) announced Tuesday that they are set to conduct a series of satellite registration of voters in the Tondo District of Manila.

COMELEC Spokesman James Jimenez said the special list-up drive, which will be carried out through the Office of the Election Officer in Manila’s First District, would cover 136 Barangays for the months of March, April and May 2009.

“The COMELEC understands that some voters have difficulty in finding time in their busy schedules to register. This is why we are going directly to them to have them listed up so they may be able to exercise their right vote,” Jimenez said as he encouraged Tondo voters to take advantage of the satellite registration centers coming to their area. ###


Manila First district satellite registration schedule


COMELEC Automation Timeline

4 03 2009



3.3 million “polluted” voters cleansed from voters list–Comelec

3 03 2009

3.3 million “polluted” voters cleansed from voters list–Comelec

Written by Maria Althea Teves

Tuesday, 03 March 2009

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has already cleansed the registered voters list of around 3.3 Million “polluted” voters Chairman Jose Melo told in an interview Tuesday, March 3, 2009.

Melo said that of the 3.3 Million voters which were purged from the voters list, majority failed to vote twice since their registration in 1997 and around 150,000 have been recorded deceased.

Also included in the voters removed from the list are unintentional double registrants.

“A lot of people forget to have their former registration deactivated when they transfer areas,” COMELEC Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer said.

To address the problem of unintentional or deliberate double or multiple registrants, the COMELEC’s information technology department gave election officers a national list of registered voters “to check whether applicants have already registered in a different location,” said executive director Jose M. Tolentino.

This is also to alert the registrant if he or she needs apply for a transfer instead of registering again.

“A lot of registered voters do not know how to apply for a transfer. In applying for transfer, it is automatic that their previous registration will be cancelled,” Tolentino said.

The Comelec also assisted in the transfer of registration of some 2,000 registered voters from Quezon City who were relocated to San Mateo.

“We provide a satellite registration for them, they don’t need to go to us, we go to them,” Tolentino said.

Melo said that it is important that relocated registered voters are assisted in deactivating their registration in their old area so that the voters can avail of basic services in their new areas of residence. “Politicians are not taking care of them in their new area. Their votes are not important to those politicians,” Melo said.

Earlier, Loretta Rosales, President of Institute of Political and Electoral Reform (IPER), said that there were 2.5M polluted voters last elections.

She noted that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo won by less than a million votes over Fernando Poe, Jr. “That is less than the total number of polluted votes.”

She urged the Comelec to have the polluted votes removed for the 2010 elections because “we don’t want another 2004 elections.”

Double or multiply registration is an offense under the Omnibus Election Code. Those found guilty will face imprisonment of up to six years, cannot hold public office and will be deprived the right to vote.

In case a registered voter has double registration, he should execute an affidavit at the EO’s office where he is previously registered declaring the desire to cancel registration in that area. That previous registration will be cancelled. (