The spokesperson for the Commission on Elections on Wednesday said the poll body was ready for the possible effects of the El Niño, or prolonged dry spell, on the May 13 midterm elections, such as power interruptions or outages.
“While we cannot do anything about the weather, what we can do something about is our response to any sort of lack of power,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said.
Jimenez said the Comelec would have generator sets prepared ahead of time for use at voting and canvassing centers in case of power outages.
Vote counting machines have 16 hours of battery life and reserve batteries, Jimenez pointed out.
“All things being equal, we expect that there will be enough battery power on a single fully charged battery to last the entire day. Nevertheless, we will provide additional batteries for all our VCMs so that we are able to respond to it quickly,” he said.
Jimenez said the Comelec had good working relationships with utility firms, and could ask them not to schedule power interruptions during the elections.
“We are able to get assurances of priority for election-related activity. We, for instance, give these power providers a list of the critical phases of the election process that we can’t afford to have power outages,” he said.
Earlier this month, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said power supply of the country’s three power grids was projected to remain normal and sufficient since El Niño’s impact would be minimal.