Senator Win Gatchalian assailed energy officials’ apparent indifference in arresting any possibility of rotational brownouts during the election period next year, when the country’s estimated 60 million voters will exercise their right to choose their leaders in the national and local levels.
“This is unacceptable! Kaya tayo merong Department of Energy ay para siguraduhing meron tayong kuryente all the time. Isa lang ang trabaho ng DOE, yan ay siguraduhin na may kuryente tayo. So, it’s unacceptable na even an iota or possibility of brownouts during the election period ay hahayaan nilang mangyari. It’s their job to address that situation,” Gatchalian emphasized.
The Senate Energy Committee Chairperson lamented DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s lack of any categorical statement in ensuring the sufficiency of power supply when this early, energy officials already forecasted the thinning of power supply on election day and thereafter.
He adds that as early as now, the DOE should identify solutions and undertake steps to ensure there will be no brownouts during the 2022 elections.
“Importante na proactive tayo. Nakita natin na tuwing summer may ganitong banta so as early as now gumagawa na tayo dapat ng paraan. For example, pinaka mabilis diyan ay scheduling. ‘Yung ating mga planta dapat ngayon pa lang nire-repair na nila, kumuha na ng spare parts, ayusin na nila para pagdating ng summer, tuloy-tuloy ang suplay ng kuryente,” Gatchalian said.
“Alam naman natin na pagdating ng March ay maraming nagme-maintain ng planta at marami ring nasisira. Kaya dapat ngayon pa lang pinapalitan na ang spare parts at agahan ang pagme-maintain para hindi umabot uli sa summer season,“ he added.
Gatchalian said his Committee on Energy will resume its hearing towards the end of the year in preparation for next year.
“We do not want any cloud of doubt pagdating sa automated elections natin. ‘Yan ang mga typical sources ng pagdududa, yung brownout at walang kuryente,” Gatchalian said in reference to the integrity and accuracy of election results as under existing law, the counting of ballots cast is carried out via an automated system.