Philippines to use blockchain and IoT devices to clean up Pasig River

The Ilog Pasig has been declared by ecologists as a dead river because no life is sustainable in it anymore. The country has been trying to clean it up since 1989

Authorities in the Philippines are taking an innovative approach to cleaning up rivers and other bodies of waters which entails blockchain technology and a token to reward those who participate.

The Pasig River Rehabilitation Council (PRRC) has partnered with local startup Cypher Odin to rehabilitate the 25-kilometre long Pasig River using blockchain. The Ilog Pasig connects Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay. It is ranked as the country’s eighth most polluted river, dumping 63,700 tons of plastic into the ocean every year. The river, which used to be a vital transport route and source of water for Spanish Manila, is currently so polluted it is considered by ecologists to be biologically dead or unable to sustain life.

Everything’s been tried

The government of the Philippines has tried everything to clean up the river. In 1989, it launched its first efforts to resuscitate it with the help of Danish officials. In the early 1990s, the PRRC began a second attempt through a donation campaign. The council believes this third time will be the charm in bringing back the  glory days.

Cypher Odin will utilise blockchain and install Internet of Things (IoT) devices along the river to monitor water quality and tide levels. It will also use other relevant data to track and monitor progress in real-time.

“We will collect all the data we gather from these IoT devices and process them so we will have comprehensive information on where the plastics and garbage are coming from, how they are moving, among others,” says Cypher Odin CEO Mariano Villafuerte. “This would allow us to analyse and come up with recommendations on how to best clean up the rivers of this debris.”

BOTcoin to reward those who help

The blockchain firm will launch a BOTcoin crypto to reward communities and companies located along the river who help clean up Ilog Pasig.

“This initiative will be funded by cryptocurrency,” Villafuerte says. “Through BOTcoin, we plan on following a Smart City approach which will create even smarter citizens. The Smart River Initiative will put the Philippines on the forefront of creating solutions and POC’s for Smart Islands and Smart Cities.”

The pilot programme will result in solutions for further efforts regarding waste management, afforestation, clean water and marine transport, says Villafuerte. “And don’ forget about retrieving lost remnants of our culture.”

The ultimate objective is “the dream of seeing the Ilog Pasig bustling with activity far exceeding anyone’s expectations”.

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