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  • Election timeline may be delayed by 2 months           The Commission on Elections’ (COMELEC’s) timeline in acquiring the voting system for the 2016 polls may be pushed back by up to 2 months if there will be a failure of bidding. COMELEC spokesman James Jimenez said the target is to award the lease contracts for the direct recording electronic (DRE) and optical mark reader (OMR) machines next month. But with the disqualification of bidders Smartmatic and Indra Sistemas S.A., the schedule might have to be adjusted. The COMELEC Bids and Awards Committee found that the financial proposals submitted by both bidders were “non-responsive” so they were disqualified. The firms were given three days to file their motions for reconsideration. In case BAC does not reverse its decision, it will recommend to the COMELEC the declaration of a “failure of bidding” and another bidding will be held. The 2 companies can join again the bidding but they will be on equal footing with other interested bidders.
  • PH growth can top 8%                                                       The Philippine economy could grow faster than 8% this year if oil prices will remain low, a cabinet official said. Speaking at the 18th Outstanding Filipino Retailers and Shopping Centers of the Year Awards Night, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said  that while the economy is expected to grow at about 7% this year, it could grow at an even faster pace, if the low oil price environment would persist.    “This year, the expectation is it (economic growth) will be about  7%. But if oil prices remain at below $60 a barrel, I think  it has a fair shot of exceeding eight percent,” he said.  This, as lower oil prices would keep inflation in check and make local  industries competitive.  The economy grew 6.1% last year, after expanding 7.2%in 2013.  The Philippines ranked second, next to China, as one of the top 20 countries projected to dominate global growth in 2015, according to economists’ survey.    

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