Comelec: 22 villages with unstable power

By Victor Anthony V. Silva |April 21,2016 - 10:41 PM

The regional Commission on Elections (Comelec 7) identified 22 barangays in Central Visayas without stable power, eight of which are in Cebu and 14 in Bohol province.

“These are all island municipalities,” Comelec 7 Director Jose Nick Medros said during a forum on ensuring power during elections held at the Harold’s Hotel in Cebu City yesterday.

Villages in Cebu with polling precincts that don’t have access to power include Carnaza (Carnaza Island) and Logon (Malapascua Island) in Daanbantayan, Botigues, Hilotongan and Doong in Bantayan, and the islands of Caubian, Caohagan, and Pangan-an in Lapu-Lapu City.

Mendros said he requested for one generator set for each of the barangays from the Comelec main office and expects these to arrive by April 29.

At present, they are in the final stages of fuel acquisition.

“I would also like to assure the public that the vote-counting machines (VCM) are accompanied by 12-volt batteries. Should there be a power outage, the machines will not turn off automatically,” he said.

Suppliers assured the Comelec that a single battery will last up to 12 hours.

He said 7,048 batteries were delivered to the region, of which 4,066 are for Cebu.

There are 4,066 polling precincts in the province which will get one VCM each.

The regional Department of Energy (DOE-7) said there will be ample power reserves on May 9, election day.

Engr. William Carido of DOE-7 said they are confident that reserves will be high on that day because Monday is a holiday.

“We are considering it like a Sunday. Historically, we have high reserves during Sundays especially in the Visayas because of no classes or work,” he said in the same forum.

As forecasted yesterday, the Visayas Grid had a system capacity of 1,764 megawatts with a demand of 1,750 MW.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines placed the Visayas under yellow alert status due to thin reserves last week, but lifted the declaration just a few days after.

Carido said this figure will likely improve during election week, assuring that the grid has ample supply of power for the occasion.

Raul Galano, systems operations head of the NGCP Visayas Grid, said they project enough power supply from May 8 to 10.

Should there be any unforeseen outages that will happen on the day of the polls, Galano said the Visayas Grid can tap at least 200 MW from the Luzon Grid since the two are interconnected already.

The Visayan Electric Co. (VECO) likewise assured that polling centers will not be affected in case there are brownouts.

Juan Miguel Exaltacion, system operations head, said they will deploy four five-kilowatt generator sets in “strategic areas” such as Comelec command centers and police outposts.

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