Thursday, 6 May 2010

Laudable move: Bizmen offer to help Comelec

Max V. de Leon
Business Mirror

BUSINESS organizations have offered help to the Commission on Elections come election day, including the provision of standby car batteries to buffer the energy requirements in some areas.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) took the initiative of getting other business groups and civil-society organizations to help ensure the smooth flow of elections, especially in critical areas like Mindanao.

Earlier on Wednesday, Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal revealed the poll body received offers of help in the rushed deployment of reconfigured compact flash cards for the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) units now in Comelec hubs nationwide. He singled out an offer from San Miguel Corp. for the use of its choppers.

“While we recognize the Commission on Elections’ capability to carry out its mandate, we believe that it will need strong support from non-partisan private sector groups to facilitate the smooth operation and flow of election,” said PCCI chairman emeritus Miguel Varela.

He said the business sector deems the success of this particular election, which is also the first nationwide automated election, as very vital in ensuring the stability of the country and its economy.

In Mindanao, the PCCI and the other business groups talked to three big factories to close their facilities for maintenance and repair on May 9 to 11. These companies have the highest consumption in the area and by temporarily shutting down, the PCCI hopes there will be enough power supply.

There will also be standby car batteries to buffer the energy requirements during election procedures in case of power interruptions.

Helicopters will also be provided in key voting areas as determined by the private sector and Comelec to serve as standby transport in case of computer malfunction.

Satellite communications in 4,000 to 5,000 precincts will also be provided to ensure continuous and uninterrupted online transmission of election results.

The other groups that committed to support these initiatives are the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Management Association of the Philippines, Bankers Association of the Philippines, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industries Inc.

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