Triple whammy enrages Poe: No water, no power, no internet
MANILA, Philippines — Barely few days before the Holy Week, Filipinos are already suffering the brunt of a “modern-day Calvary”–water shortage, rotating brownouts, and no internet.
On Friday, Senator Grace Poe expressed dismay over the reported problems in water, electricity, and internet in some areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
“Walang tubig, walang kuryente, walang internet. Sobrang kalbaryo,” Poe said in a statement.
“Sa susunod na linggo pa ang Mahal na Araw pero nauna na ang pwersahang penitensya,” she added.
Poe, who chairs the Senate committee on public services, issued the remark in view of the rotating brownouts in Luzon as the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) placed the Luzon grid under red alert for the third straight day.
The NGCP said the possibility of power demand outstripping available generating capacity is estimated to be within a 13-hour period, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Because of this, Poe warned to impose consequent penalties against companies that provide poor quality services to the people concerning electricity, water and internet.
The senator reminded power companies that penalties will be implemented if they fail to provide quality service to their customers, as provided under their contracts.
“May mga probisyon sa kontrata ng mga kumpanya na kailangang kalidad na serbisyo ang maibibigay sa taumbayan, at may kaukulang penalty ang hindi makakatugon,” Poe said.
She also urged government regulators to strictly monitor the companies to ensure that the companies fulfill their mandate as mentioned in the contracts.
“Maging aktibo rin sana ang ating mga government regulators sa ganitong usapin dahil may mandato at kapangyarihan sila sa pagsisiguro ng maayos na pamamalakad ng mga kumpanyang ito,” she added.
Meanwhile, Senator Nancy Binay called for a united front for energy efficiency to prevent a power shortage during the May 13 elections.
“Siguro instead of pointing fingers, mas urgent na magkaisa tayo to get to the bottom of the issue and address it properly,” Binay said in a separate statement.
Binay, who is the vice chair of the Senate committee on energy, warned that a power outage or communications breakdown during the elections could cast doubts on the results, therefore the government must do everything within its power to prevented it from happening.
She also urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to come up with contingency plans should power and internet outages occur.
“Electricity and the internet play a vital role during the national elections. Kaya hangga’t maaga pa, Comelec should come up with contingency plans just in case there would be power and internet outages,” the senator said.
The Comelec should ensure that vote-counting machines have functional back-up power sources and a stable internet connectivity, Binay said.
She added that the Department of Energy (DOE) should coordinate closely with stakeholders to make sure that that they provide a stable power supply.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) should also secure communication lines to prevent glitches and interruptions in the transmission of election results, Binay said.
“We don’t want to darken the outlook of the May 2019 elections, kaya kailangan lahat ng ahensya ng gobyerno ay magtulungan to prevent a power outage to ensure a credible election,” she said.
“Government should do its utmost so that not a shred of doubt threatens the integrity of the elections. A power or communications failure could be tantamount to a failure in elections,” Binay added. /jpv