1. Description of Our Community
“In the beginning, there was no Philippines, but there was Butuan.”
The tag line of Butuan vents its colorful history as Philippines’ oldest city. It sits at the eastern part of the Agusan Valley in Mindanao, sprawling across the Agusan River which is home to 315,000 people. Butuan has also a rich biodiversity that is incessantly in threat because of excessive waste generation and deforestation. One of the titles that were given to the city was ‘Home of the Balangays’ because it is in Butuan that the oldest sea vessel in the Philippines, the balangays, were unearthed. Butuan was also coined as the ‘Timber City’, known as one of the island’s greatest timber-producing city. However, through the years, over harvesting of the city’s trees has caused its number to plummet, leaving Butuan with deforestated mountains. The past fame that was held upon became a forgotten portion of Mindanao, left from better the developments in technology. Nevertheless, it still has the quality that every individual can be proud of--people with warm hearts, productive citizens, and a place far from calamities like tsunami and hurricanes. Our city may not be swarmed with the abundance of skyscrapers and the upbeat atmosphere of urban life, but it definitely possesses the hidden qualities and resources that a progressive city of a first world would need that is yet to be nurtured . . . that is what the proponents DREAM and UNITE for!
2. Summary of Our Project
Every year, the humble city of Butuan generates an average of 35,000 metric tons of garbage, most if not all are dumped in the local landfills. Over the years, these landfills has slowly been filled, and has caused many environmental concerns to rise, not to mention the amount of money it requires in order to manage it (80 million pesos annually). However the local Butuanons are still negligent to the state of their mother city despite of the evident need for a cleaner and greener Butuan.
It is because of this that we have created the Eco-Cyber Patrol in order to inform the public about the condition of Butuan, and to influence them to unite, create and maintain a clean Butuan. through the empowerment of the “Clean Ground, Zero Waste” program, a pre-imposed project of the city government that calls attention to a more systematic and effective method of dealing with the garbage of the city. It employs the use of waste segregation, recycling and waste conversion (to organic fertilizers) as the key to the overwhelming waste production of the city. The Eco-Cyber Patrol aims to promote and further implement the said project through the activities and movements conducted by the team: seminars, clean-up drives, house-to-house campaigns, collaboration with other organizations, etc.; and with the use of this website, the team has high hope to affect not only the people of Butuan but each and every person into this world, in a way that people could realize that to act now and work together to save the environment is of essence and must be mandatory.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dial-up modem
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
Problems are inevitable in every activity that one engages in. Through this particular research, one of the things that really affected the team was lack of communication of the participants. This was due to our overlapping schedules, given that almost all of our teammates are very active in the various class activities, both academic and co curricular. Another is coping with the appointments that we have in schedule with the people we needed for our information etc. However, through these problems we learned that time management and focus were the answers to overcome this hurdle. After all, fines is not the money, it is the discipline.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
The City of Butuan is experiencing a rapid urban growth. Increasing population, urbanization and industrialization are resulting in the generation of increasing amounts of solid wastes. The management of these wastes is a growing problem in the city because of concerns related to both public health and environmental degradation. To seize upon the environmentally important problem of urban waste disposal, Agusan National High School has joined the International CyberFair that lead them to launch a group composed of responsible students who address environmental problem. Through use of technology, the group has decided to launch a website about the project to strengthen young people’s environmental awareness and engage youth to act upon the present environmental issues. Also, through this website the team will be able to inspire the youth to redress the balance and concentrate resources and effort developing technologies suited to our age, and to our fragile and independent world.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Our school and locality already made laws regarding waste management, namely the Clean Ground, Zero Waste Campaign, and the rules set by our alma mater, Agusan National High School. The vision of a clean Butuan that they speak of is very promising. The main problem that they face is the lack of education and participation among Butuanons regarding waste management. The officials are doing their best to aid this problem. Since this is the project that can be made a success only through the involvement of every citizen, the officials carry a huge responsibility on their shoulders. Here’s when we come into the picture. Not only did we offer our support by word, but we also help promote the cause by action through organizing seminars and serving as effective and productive Eco-Cyber Patrollers.