Comelec accepts paper donation
The Commission on Elections yesterday decided to accept 1.1 million thermal paper rolls and 2 million marking pens donated by the automation service contractor, Smartmatic, for the May 9 elections.
“Voting 6-1, the commission en banc has ruled to accept the donations of Smartmatic for the marking pens and thermal papers,” Comelec Chair Andres Bautista told reporters after the poll body’s meeting.
Comelec’s lone dissenter was Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, who, earlier tweeted, “I believe that receiving a donation from Smartmatic who is doing business with Comelec is graft.”
Smartmatic lost bidding for the thermal paper to Forms International Enterprises Corp., which offered P49.5 million vis-a-vis Smartmatic’s P83.6 million. The contract has not yet been awarded.
The thermal paper rolls will be used in the printing of voter receipts by the vote-counting machines while marking pens are used by voters in filling up their ballots. The donated marking pens will be added to the Comelec’s existing supply stock.
Bautista said the commission decided to avail itself of the Smartmatic’s donation because it can help speed up preparations for the conduct of the elections.
He quoted the Comelec’s packing and shipping committee head, Commissioner Sheriff Abas, as saying that going through the public bidding carries with it the uncertainty on whether the materials would be deployed on schedule.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.