Pasig City is a highly urbanized and thriving city in Metro Manila Philippines with a population of approximately 800,000 people.
Just like other cities around the world; Pasig City has its own climate-related problems that needed innovative solutions.
When we pitched Climathon to the newly elected Mayor and his staff, it was the right timing.
They had just completed their environmental inventory to see how the city was doing, and what were their top climate-related problems. The key areas were found to be mobility, waste management and air pollution.
The entire project team was excited to collaborate and see what Climathon could do for the city and everyone involved.
This was a new way to solve a problem. It was truly a time to innovate, experiment, and be creative in hacking ideas to meet the climate issues the city was facing.
We were very fortunate that the Mayor and his team were engaged and looking forward to the new ways to ideate and innovate.
The Mayor also wants the Pasigueños, or Pasig City residents, to be involved in crafting policies and programs, so this was a good step to take.
This was something new for the Philippines, so the city enablers and organisers really collaborated and met with the city representatives and team to ensure they learnt the new process and methodology.
We conducted workshops and had a lot of collaborative meetings. The public sector guided us with the ins and outs of the city environment-related policies, and we guided them through this new way of solving problems.
It was amazing how the public and private sectors worked together to lead the first climathon in the Philippines.
“It was amazing how the public and private sectors worked together to lead the first climathon in the Philippines.”
The Pasig City climathon had over 100 registrants, of which 52 participated and were divided into 15 teams. There were 30 coaches and experts and 8 jury members.
Out of the six teams who were in the finals, Cloop and Sari-cycling won.
The graduate team behind Cloop pitched a social enterprise that will up-cycle plastic waste.
They have designed a simple machine that will make simple tools and accessories that people will want to buy and keep. Included in their solution is helping single mothers and persons with disabilities, who often have a hard time finding jobs, to operate the machines in order to earn a sustainable living.
The other team, Sari-cycling, met for the first time at our Climathon. Their pitch is to put proper garbage segregation bins adjacent to sari-sari stores, small ‘mom and pop’ stores that are all over the city and are part of the daily routine of Filipinos. The store owners will also get incentives from the local government if they succeed in making sure that people dispose of their garbage in the provided segregate bins.
In his closing remarks during the Climathon, the Mayor expressed that he is looking forward to seeing the solutions being implemented in Pasig City.
Before the community quarantine happened in the Philippines, Cloop and Sari-cycling were attending training with HiFi and SCALE Solutions, which was part of the prize, as well as a Php150,000 (approximately USD3,000) grant for each team to support their implementation.
Even during quarantine, both teams have been working and recalibrating their plan so that once the quarantine has lifted and they are able to run the pilot they will be good to go!
One big thing I am grateful for is that I have never seen so much of the ‘Bayanihan’, which is about people from both private and public sectors doing whatever they can to make the very first Climathon a success.
Everyone knew and understood that we all had a role to play that affected the climate, and it is also up to us to take full accountability and responsibility to find solutions and get the solutions implemented in the city.
The first Climathon in the Philippines was a success because it was more than just an event, it was a way to drive social impact through transformative change that resonated with everyone.