Comelec: Spare Abra from blackouts

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Cordillera promised to negotiate with Aboitiz Power Resources Inc. (Apri) to spare Abra on Election Day for it to provide power despite non–payment of the province.

Comelec Regional Director Jose Nick Mendros said they will contact the power supplier, Apri, to stop power outage so that it would not coincide with the Election Day, especially with the use of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (Pcos) machines.

He said they will prepare several power generators as alternatives if the power outage cannot be avoided during the Election Day.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) committed to closely survey the province for peaceful and fair elections this May even with possible power outages.

On December 10, 2012, the private firm Aboitiz cut off its supply over an unpaid P4.9-million electricity fee. The power was restored at 3:30 p.m. the next day, after the Abra Electric Cooperative (Abreco) paid part of its dues.

Abreco was asking Aboitiz for more time to pay its current bill for but Abra was placed in total darkness Friday. General Manager Loreto Seares Jr. of Abreco alleged the abrupt blackout is a politically-driven act of a certain politician because of a personal issue.

Aboitiz signed an agreement with Abreco on December 26, 2011, to provide electricity to all 27 municipalities in Abra, covering 295 barangays out of 303 barangays.

However, the hope of the Comelec was just washed away because of the recent decision of the power supplier on the termination of contract with the Abreco.

The supplier issued the notice on January 10, which took effect on January 24. The whole province of Abra went totally dark again.
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