Comelec allays fears of power interruptions in 2016 elections | Inquirer News

Comelec allays fears of power interruptions in 2016 elections

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 08:34 AM August 01, 2015



The Commission Elections (Comelec) has assured the public that back-up plans are in place in case a power crisis erupts in the May 2016 polls.

Comelec Commissioner Christian Lim said in a press briefing on Friday that the automated election system (AES) the poll body will use in next year’s elections is ready to offset power failure.


“One of our contingency measures is that part of the Terms of Reference of the voting machines that the batteries should last for 14 hours,” said Lim, who is the chair of the poll body’s steering committee for the 2016 elections.


He said the 14-hour battery life will be sufficient to get through the voting and counting procedures in the polling precincts.

“We will have a minimum of 14 hours for the batteries. That should be good enough into and after the counting on election day,” said Lim.

On top of that, Lim said the Comelec is still counting on an earlier commitment of the Department of Energy (DOE) to provide sufficient power supply come the national elections.

“In 2013, we called the DOE regarding the power issue. They guaranteed us that on election day, there will be power in Mindanao,” said Lim.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines earlier reported a deficiency in power supply in Mindanao, which raised the probability of longer and more frequent power outages there.

Comelec Chair Andres Bautista said the threat of a power crisis makes it more logical for the poll body to conduct mall-based voting in 2016.


Bautista said one of the advantages of holding elections in malls is the existence of standby generator sets.

The Comelec is currently looking into the practical and legal aspects of mall-based voting, which it believes would enhance the voting experience.

Meanwhile, election technology provider Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM) merely dismissed the election sabotage case filed against it by the group of former poll commissioner Gus Lagman, saying it was a “desperate” measure to stop the efforts of the Comelec to fully automate the 2016 polls.

“It is also rather baffling why Lagman’s group took two long years after the alleged incident to file the case,” Smartmatic president for Asia-Pacific Cesar Flores said in a statement.

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Lagman’s group on Thursday filed an electoral sabotage case against officials of Smartmatic for allegedly altering the source code of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines during the May 2013 elections. The source code is the program instructions that define how the PCOS machines operate.

TAGS: AES, Comelec, Commission on Elections, power failure

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