Unstable power supply a 'serious threat' to May elections --- Hontiveros

Unstable power supply in the country does not only endanger the actual May elections but is also a serious electoral issue, reelectionist Senator Risa Hontiveros said on Wednesday, Feb. 16.

Senator Risa Hontiveros (Photo courtesy of Hontiveros Office)

Hontiveros said this is something policymakers should confront head on before and after the elections.

She made the comment after the climate and energy policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) warned of an impending blackout during the 2022 national elections including the days of vote counting.

“Malaking banta sa integridad ng halalan ang posibleng pagnipis ng suplay ng kuryente sa araw mismo ng botohan at sa bilangan. Pwedeng magkadayaan, magkasalisihan (The possible thinning of power supply on the day of elections and counting is a huge threat to integrity of the elections. Cheating activities may happen). The integrity of the elections depends significantly on stable and sufficient power supply,” Hontiveros said.

The Senator reitertated her call on the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the Department of Energy (DoE) to ensure that power players do not resort to derating and unplanned outages during the election day.

She stressed that enough supply of energy during the elections must be ensured this early of the campaign season.

She likewise reminded DOE of its assurance that there will be an adequate and reliable supply of electricity before, during, and after May 9, 2022 as she recalled that industry players and the DOE during the previous Senate hearings have already came up with supposed solutions such as firm ancillary services contracts on the part of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines and the prevention of unplanned maintenance shutdown on the part of the generation companies.

“By this time, the energy players should have already identified and installed safety measures so that the red alert status last May and June 2021 that caused major blackouts will not be reached again,” she said.