DEPARTMENT of Energy (DOE) Secretary Angelo Reyes raised Thursday the possibility of a failure of elections and brownout during the May 10 polls.

In a public hearing conducted by Congress Committee on Energy, Reyes said that if worst comes to worst, “the Comelec (Commission on Elections) can take charge with the aid of the other sectors."

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"If ever there will be a failure of power, the sectors should have a joint effort to make sure there will be no failure of elections," he said, adding that he is still confident the elections will push through.

He said the Comelec has informed the DOE that “each PCOS (precinct count optical scanner) machine has a battery pack [that] has 16 hours uninterrupted power supply.”

He said the election time will run only up to 11 hours.

But Reyes said the government cannot solely rely on the battery pack, as “we also have to worry about the power of the schools wherein the election takes place. The Napocor (National Power Corporation) and the other sectors should make sure these school houses also have back-up power."

He pointed out that ensuring adequate power during elections is not just his department's responsibility since it is the concern of the whole government.

"That’s why we have created a task force focusing on this now, which has members from the Department of Education, public works among others," Reyes said.

Malacañang and the DOE have been saying that they will ensure there will be no power interruption during the elections.

In Thursday’s hearing, which was attended by Mindanaoan house representatives and energy stakeholders, Reyes presented five options to solve the Mindanao power crisis.

The options that are composed of more immediate actions to the problem gained favor. These include declaring Mindanao under a state of calamity, enabling the national and local government to use their calamity fund.

On Thursday night, Malacañang declared the entire Mindanao under state of calamity. (JCZ)