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Provider failed to send info to mayor; Osmeña sulks, will no longer consider TMAS

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña is no longer considering the proposal of a Manila-based company to put up a Text Messaging Alert System (TMAS) for disaster mitigation and information dissemination.

This after the proponent, Contact Point Inc., failed to provide the list of the local government units (LGUs) in the country that are using the system.

“They presented their proposal to me before. I told them to give me a list of which cities in Manila are doing it, so I can validate what they’re claiming. They have not given that to me. So, I’m not interested,” Osmeña said.

The mayor said he needs to ensure that the P10-million cost of the system, which will be taken from the city’s coffers, will be justified.

He said he needs to ask other LGUs, who are reportedly using the system, how efficient the system is.

“What they’re proposing is very interesting but it’s very expensive. It’s not P50,000, it’s P10 million. Before I do something like that, I can send letter to LGUs doing the system how is it. They have not done that.  What am I supposed to do? Take their word for it? Sorry, that’s not the way I am,” he said.

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Osmeña said the city government needs to sort all proposals and validate it so that the city’s money will not be wasted.

According to the proposal, the system can transfer 300 to 500 text messages in a minute for free within the two-kilometer radius, regardless of the subscriber’s telecom network.

Also, the system will not be affected even if there are natural or man-made calamities because TMAS is not dependent from telecommunication cell sites.

The system includes equipment such as micro base transceiver station (cell site), carrying case, panel antenna, power adapter, and laptop as controller, among other accessories like solar panel chargers and power amplifiers.

Osmeña said the proposal sounds “interesting” since it can help the city in spreading information especially in times of disasters.

“It’s very desirable, but not necessary. It’s very desirable, because under the system, within a certain radius, even if there’s a total blackout, even all cell sites are down, you can communicate with the people in a certain area kuno,” he said.

The mayor, however, said he is open at accepting the same proposal from different proponents.

Osmeña said the city government will publicize all proposals to allow other suppliers to participate in Swiss Challenge.

Under the “Swiss Challenge” approach, the government will give other private sectors to participate and submit competitive counter proposals. (FREEMAN)

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