Re-electionist Senator Nancy Binay has called for a unified front for energy efficiency to fend off the possibility of a power shortage during the May 2019 midterm elections.
This, as at least five power plants in Luzon reported simultaneous shutdowns on Wednesday that put the grid on red alert, with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines notifying consumers of rolling brownouts.
“Siguro instead of pointing fingers, mas urgent na magkaisa tayo to get to the bottom of the issue and address it properly,” Binay said.
Binay warned that a power outage or communications breakdown during the elections should be prevented at all costs, as such occurrence could cast doubt on the results.
“Electricity and the internet play a vital role during the national elections. Kaya hangga’t maaga pa, Comelec should come up with contingency plans just in case there would be power and internet outages,” the reelectionist senator said.
Binay, vice-chair of the Senate committee on energy, reiterated that the Comelec should guarantee that vote counting machines have working back-up power sources, and a stable internet connectivity.
“With automated elections already mandated by law, the lack of power and communications present considerable difficulties on the part of Comelec,” she pointed out.
“Rotating brownouts is a hot issue for everyone. We don’t want to darken the outlook of the May 2019 elections, kaya kailangan lahat ng ahensya ng gobyerno ay magtulungan to prevent a power outage to ensure a credible election,” she added.
Binay said that the Department of Energy (DOE) should coordinate closely with power stakeholders to ensure that they are working with the sole purpose of providing a stable power supply.
“Government should do its utmost so that not a shred of doubt threatens the integrity of the elections. A power or communications failure could be tantamount to a failure in elections,” the senator said.
Binay also made a similar call for the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) secure communication lines to prevent glitches or interruptions in the transmittal of election results.
“Baka magalit at hindi makuntento ang mga kababayan natin sa resulta kung magkaroon ng power or comms outage. The power to vote is one of the most sacred rights of the people, so we must not allow for discontent to creep in because they feel cheated of their vote,” she added.
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