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Loren Fears Shutting Down of Hydroelectric Plants by Napocor Prelude to Election Anomalies

February 12, 2010

LOREN EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT THE ANNOUNCEMENT BY NAPOCOR THAT IT IS SHUTTING DOWN SOME HYDROELECTRIC PLANTS DUE TO EL NINO EFFECTS. DEFINITELY, THE RESULTING POWER OUTAGES WILL BRING DOWN THE PRODUCTIVITY OF INDUSTRY AS IT WILL REDUCE WORKING HOURS OF BOTH PEOPLE AND MACHINERIES. FURTHERMORE, INTERMITTENT BLACKOUT IS BAD FOR MACHINERY AS WELL AS FOR THE PEOPLE WORKING.
Loren expressed doubts on the need to shut down hydroelectric power plants when only 3 months ago, we have the reservoirs of these plants bursting with water brought by the supertyphoons, Ondoy and Pepeng. Have these reservoirs really reached critical levels this fast? she wonders.
In a paper presented to the World Bank, Disabled Peoples’ International estimated that 30 to 40 percent of the total disability population in the Philippines are children. Socioeconomic conditions and the lack of capacities to develop children with special needs are the main causes of the poor conditions they face.
Loren fears that this announcement has been expressly made to condition our people on possible blackouts during and after election day especially in critical areas where administration candidates are failing or where candidates not friendly to the administration are expected to win. Nevertheless, this early announcement should warn the COMELEC of this possibility.
Loren thus calls upon the COMELEC to adopt measures to ensure that despite blackouts, election must continue. Since the NAPOCOR can program these blackouts, it follows that it is within the NAPOCOR’s power and control to schedule power outages. The COMELEC must consult with the NAPOCOR to ensure that blackouts will not occur on Election Day. COMELEC should warn NAPOCOR that scheduling power outages during Election Day is tantamount to sabotage of the holding of elections and NAPOCOR officials must answer for their action in a court of law.