Comelec to spend P26M for uniforms; move hit
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will spend more than P26 million for the purchase of “bib vests” for the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) and support staff to wear as uniforms at the polling places during the May 9 elections.
A total of 354,053 bib vests, printed with the PiliPinas logo and the initials “BEI” in front and the words “Comelec” and “Board of Election Inspector” at the back, are to be procured.
The bidding contract was priced at P26,553,975, or P75 apiece.
Apart from the bib vests for the BEIs, the poll body will also be buying 6,158 collared shirts for its employees with a bidding contract of P1,231,600, or P200 per shirt.
A prebid conference for the items was called on Wednesday.
Two companies have so far bought bidding documents for the shirts. However, no group has acquired bidding documents for the bib vests.
The Comelec said the opening of the bids will be on April 13.
The winning bidder will be required to deliver the items in just 15 days after the awarding of the contract.
Meanwhile, the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) criticized the poll body for incurring unnecessary expenditures like the Election Day uniforms for their employees and public schoolteachers serving as BEIs.
According to Lente, the budget for the supply contract of the BEI and employee uniforms would be a waste of government resources.
“Twenty million pesos for BEI shirts, P75 each. Is this really necessary? Hello @Comelec,” Lente posted in its Twitter account (@lente_ph).
Instead of purchasing uniforms, the poll body should use the funds to better compensate the public schoolteachers, Lente said.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, meanwhile, defended the acquisition of Election Day uniforms, saying it was aimed at lifting the spirits of those serving in the field.
Uplifting the pride of the poll workers by ensuring that they are “attired properly” would help ensure the credibility of the elections, he said.
“If you’re looking at making even the election workers aware of the dignity of what they are doing, then you’re also creating another frontline in the battle against election fraud,” said Jimenez.
He added that the Comelec has provided funds for the benefits and allowances of the election workers.
Meanwhile, the Comelec will no longer be purchasing 93,000 voter receipt receptacles for the elections.
Instead of the receptacles, the poll body will just use the boxes that will be used in shipping the ballots, said Comelec Chair Andres Bautista.
This means savings of P27.9 million, he said.
Last week, the Comelec issued two separate invitations to bid for the supply of 93,000 receptacles and 100,000 pair of scissors to be used for the implementation of the voter verified paper audit trail.
The scissors, with an approved budget contract of P1 million, will cost P10 per piece.