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PIA Press Release

NDCC places guards vs power outage during May polls

Quezon City (29 March) -- Amidst the current power crisis in Mindanao and fears of poll failure, the National Disaster Coordinating Council is taking steps to ensure that the automated elections in May will not be disrupted by power outages.

NDCC chair and Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales announced sunday that he called a meeting of NDCC officers, including all the regional directors in Cebu to discuss the measures the crisis body is taking. p>Gonzales said making an inventory of the current available generators in the country will be a major subject in the meeting. p>Gonzales has earlier disclosed that NDCC is eyeing tapping privately-owned generators and positioning them, one in every cluster of precincts, during the May 10 elections. "We will be asking our people who have generators to register their generators with the NDCC so we can use them during the elections," he said. p>The defense chief noted that the Commission on Elections has already bought back up generators for the elections, but he said it is better to be redundant in contingency preparations than having nothing at all. p>"Para mawala ang pangamba ng taumbayan, dadagdagan natin itong inihahanda ng COMELEC," Gonzales said. "At sa taumbayan galling yan." p>"We cannot afford to have a failure of election. Government should exert all efforts to eliminate the possibility of failure of election," Gonzales stressed. p>Gonzales also bared that measures are being undertaken to ensure that there will be no power outage in Mindanao from May 8 to 12. To achieve this goal, the water of Lake Lanao is being preserved so that there will be enough supply for hydropower plants during the election period. p>A state of calamity was declared in Mindanao earlier this month because of a severe power deficiency in the island resulting in daily brownouts that last four to five hours and ongoing for three weeks now. p>Gonzales inspected some of the hydropower plants in Mindanao and held consultation meetings with the region's key power stakeholders early this week. p>Gonzales said, after his visit to Mindanao, that it is now necessary that government and the private sector study alternative sources of power for Mindanao because "suddenly, hydropower is unreliable because of El Nino." Mindanao is 55% dependent on hydropower for its energy requirement. (DND) [top]

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