SENATOR Win Gatchalian urged the Department of Energy (DOE) and distribution utilities, such as Meralco, to ensure a steady flow of electricity, especially in election hotspots, ahead of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.
Gatchalian emphasized that any power interruption during election day could raise concerns about peace and order, potentially leading to fraud or cheating that could jeopardize the integrity of the election process.
“We do not want the lack of electricity in areas recognized as election hotspots to be the cause of any untoward incident. The DOE must ensure, especially the distribution utilities that administer electricity in remote provinces, that there is no any problem when it comes to elections and numbers,” the senator pointed out.
“Ensuring the integrity and credibility of an election hinges on the availability of a dependable power supply,” stated Gatchalian. He noted that the number of barangays classified under the red category has increased to 361 from 119. Areas placed under red category include those with suspected election-related incidents, security threats from terrorist groups or partisan armed groups employed by candidates, or areas declared under COMELEC control.
According to Gatchalian, the energy department needs to work closely with various players in the energy sector, particularly power generation, transmission, and distribution utilities operating in election hotspot areas to ensure a sufficient and reliable supply of electricity.
“A stable power supply is a crucial component in maintaining peace and order and ensuring the integrity of the electoral process in more than 42,000 barangays in the country,” he emphasized.