One thousand (1,000) ballot samples were
tested at the National Printing Office (NPO) on October 11 and 12,
2012, through the recommendation of the Comelec. The NPO was
instructed to have the ballot samples tested if they will be read
and accepted by the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.
Comelec required this testing before the contract is awarded to the
winning bidder for paper ballots and security printing.
The budget for the project is PhP 784,000,000.00.
Prior to the testing, the NPO conducted a bidding conference for the
supply of ballot papers, and the winning bidder was the joint
venture of Holy Family Inc. and Canon Marketing Philippines. Other
suppliers that participated in the bidding were Smartmatic-TIM
Corp., and the joint venture consisting of ePDS (a PLDT subsidiary)
for security printing ; Advance Group of Companies for paper supply;
Hewlett Packard for digital printers; and ASA Color Inks for the
ultraviolet security ink of the ballots.
Two disqualified bidders, Smartmatic and PLDT Consortium, were
reported to have filed their protest against the NPO - Bids & Awards
Committee (BAC) decision, and to declare the Canon-Holy Family Inc.
joint venture as ineligible. Smartmatic said that the joint venture
falsified statements on its single largest contract with the
Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), after securing a communication
from the latter that it has not entered into a contract that
amounted to PhP 100,000,000.00, specifically with Holy Family, Inc.
The NPO-BAC required the bidders to present their single largest
contract that is not lower that PhP 192 million.