Last October 26, 2019, at the conclusion of the historic Climathon Pasig, the solutions presented will finally be able to see its action and the possible change it can bring to the city of Pasig and eventually Metro Manila.

Hackathons are a common event. Developers, engineers, businessmen and businesswomen are active participants in those 24-hour contests. The goal of all hackathons is to build a technology that aligns with the event’s theme — and the prize money is, at most times, prestigious.

However, with over 10 hackathons happening in Manila within a year, this will be one of the first to contribute directly to public policy. At the opening ceremonies of the Philippines’ first Climathon, hosted by Pasig City, Director of the Hub of Innovation for Inclusion (HiFi) Abigail Mapua-Cabanilla, saw the need for implementation of solutions that embraces the opportunity for national impact.

“What I observed [in some hackathons] is that a lot of the hackers joined because of the prize money. The motivation for Climathon is not the prize money, but really to contribute solutions for their city because there is no prize money,” Abigail told OffCrowd.

Last October 26, 2019, at the conclusion of the historic Climathon Pasig, the solutions presented will finally be able to see its action and the possible change it can bring to the city of Pasig and eventually Metro Manila.

Climathon Pasig is organized by SCALE, the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde (CSB), HiFi, and Future Proof. The first climate-change hackathon to happen in the Philippines that coincides with multiple climathons also happening in different cities around the world.

Climathon is an international phenomenon that occurs once a year to bring diverse solutions from a variety of backgrounds around the globe. The winners of each climathon are brought together for training and acceleration to see their idea come to life.

Collaboration

Contestants, sponsors, and organizers of different age groups, backgrounds, cities, and professions came together to participate in the first Pasig Climathon. Participants have a variety of reasons for joining the event, with passion and advocacy in one hand, and another brought by urgency.

Health, wellness, and sustainability advocate, Micah Munoz, was brought in to coach one of the participating teams. Proud to be one of those involved at its first run, Micah is excited for the movement Climathon can bring.

“I’m so proud that it’s already happening and there are people behind a certain initiative for climate. For a movement like this that would actually find creative solutions to our climate problem or our waste problem is a step-up from the basis that we’ve been doing for the past decade,” Micah told OffCrowd.

“Who wouldn’t want to be part of a movement like this? Not just locally, it’s also happening globally. We’re all banded together to create a solution to our climate,” he added.

Meanwhile, Freelance UI/UX designer and participant Von Payumo saw Climathon as more of an “ideathon” than a hackathon.

“Climathon has been a different experience than other hackathons that I’ve been to,” Von said. “Climathon somewhat levels the playing field for everyone. If you’re experienced, a student, or belong in an agency.”

Another participant and a member of Lakbay Kalikasan, Julie Ann Soriano, joined Climathon to finally see her idea involving waste segregation take action. Her idea stems from a background that directly impacted her and her family as they lived close to a dumpsite in Nueva Ecija during her childhood.

“The memory of my childhood hits rewind to when we lived near a dumpsite,” Julie Ann shared in Tagalog. “During that time, there was a massive flood that killed our poultry. All our chickens died.”

She also recalls the massive piles of trash compiled through flash floods during Ondoy, a devastating typhoon that ravaged Metro Manila in 2009 which further ignited her to join Climathon.

Implementation

The winners of Climathon, Cloop and Sari-Cycling, were among the 52 participants that joined the competition. Cloop aims to not only educate but envisions to create a machine that can recycle to build new products; while Sari-Cycling focuses on segregation through sari-sari stores.

Both teams will undergo incubation and training through HiFi, SCALE, other partner-organizations involved, and the Pasig City government to refine their idea to be ready for implementation in the city with support from Mayor Vico Sotto. Additionally, the six teams that were chosen as finalists, will also be given the opportunity to expand their ideas.

“For the winners, we will be meeting with them and orienting them on how the incubation is going to work and the first few steps for the implementation,” Carla explains.

“The next is for the finalists, we will be working with the Climate Change Commission to help those ideas to be pitched in other cities, eventually,  the goal is that Climathon will happen in every city in the Philippines so we want to help and support all these ideas to come into reality,” she adds

The journey of Climathon Philippines is not over, as incubation will still be conducted and a timeline is to be readied. However, the importance of such an event still lingers among its participants and its observers, as action and policy has become the highlight.

OffCrowd is a platform to report working solutions as well as discuss concepts and ideas to nourish solutions among all individuals.

Let us know the groups or individuals already working towards these, let us know existing policies if we’ve missed any, and discuss in the comments.

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