Issue of May 12, 2019
Mt. Province

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Power supply assured for polls
by Ofelia C. Empian with reports from Redjie Melvic Cawis

The Commission on Elections-Cordillera assured last week that they have power backups in case of unforeseen power cut during the 2019 midterm elections.

During the Regional Joint Security Control Center meeting last week, Comelec-Cordillera Assistant Director Vanessa Roncal said the Comelec en banc directly coordinated with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines for the agency to assure stable power supply during the elections.

In the region, she said they have directed their provincial supervisors to directly coordinate with the various electric cooperatives in their area.

Maganda naman ang naging feedback sa amin. Sinasabi naman na meron silang assurance na gagawan nila ng paraan na hindi magkakaroon ng power interruption during and after the elections,” Roncal said.

For Baguio City  and Benguet, Benguet Electric Cooprative Institutional Services Department Manager Delmar Cariño said that the electric cooperative has formed a task force to ensure the integrity of the different facilities of Beneco on election day.

Cariño said close to 100 linemen, crew, and staff members will be deployed at the different strategic areas to ensure that their facilities such as the lines, posts, and transformers will not incur any problem that may cause the power interruption on May 13.

“We will dispatch teams to make sure that systems, lines, posts, and transformers will not have problems and interruption of power will be averted during the election process on May 13 and 14,” Cariño said.  

The linemen and crew are ready to respond to any emergency involving power interruption, he assured.

But Cariño called on the public to be vigilant and report incidents to their hotlines to avert problems and to ensure quick response.

For assistance, consumers may reach Beneco at 637-4400 to 637-4499, 0908-865-7202, 0917-592-1698, and 0917-580-7814 for the Beneco office in Abatan, Buguias, Benguet.

The NGCP will also activate the 24/7 operations of its Overall Command Center starting today, May 12 to  14 as part of its initiatives to secure power transmission operations and facilities  in this year’s elections.

NGCP Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Officer Melma Batario said they have scheduled their maintenance activities in order not to affect the elections.

“We have suspended our maintenance activities, one week before the elections and one week after,” Batario said.

Even in case of unscheduled power interruption, the vote counting machines are equipped with backup batteries that could last 16 hours.

“So kung 12 hours ang elections, the batteries are assured to work very efficiently for 16 hours so hindi tayo kakabahan na titigil ang election dahil walang kuryente,” she said.
Election begins by 6 a.m. and ends by 6 p.m. on May 13.

Comelec-Cordillera Director Maria Juana Valeza said more or less 1,800 VCMs were dispatched for the whole region.

“We already identified the areas that have no signal and provided them the necessary communication facilities,” Valeza said.

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