The road to safety begins with Juan

CEMEX’s Listo Tayo! teaches students of Juan Sumulong

Elementary School the value of road safety

 

In the Philippines, road accidents take away 30,000 lives on a yearly basis, making it the fourth leading cause of death in the country. This puts Filipinos in a position of vulnerability, especially in densely populated cities like Antipolo, where pedestrians, including children, share the streets with hundreds of moving vehicles daily.

“As a member of the community, this is a safety issue we cannot afford to ignore,” said Mike Teotico, Logistics Director for cement manufacturer CEMEX Philippines, which operates its Solid Cement Plant in Barangay San Jose, Antipolo.

“After we assessed the risks, we’re not just going to stand and wait for something to happen. We established stricter protocols for our truck drivers, giving them additional training programs and raising their awareness through safety seminars. As a result, our delivery trucks have been accident-free for years now. But our initiatives don’t end there.”

CEMEX recently launched the Listo Tayo! Ligtas 24 Oras Road Safety Program, a groundbreaking initiative designed to raise road safety awareness among children in Antipolo City.

EVERY ‘JUAN’ IS LISTO! CEMEX leaders doing the ‘Listo’ gesture with DepEd Director Diosdado San Antonio, Antipolo City Government Chief of Staff Lito Gatlabayan, JSES faculty members and students

EVERY ‘JUAN’ IS LISTO! CEMEX leaders doing the ‘Listo’ gesture with DepEd Director Diosdado San Antonio, Antipolo City Government Chief of Staff Lito Gatlabayan, JSES faculty members and students

Si Mentong Matibay on being ‘listo’

Inside the classrooms of Juan Sumulong Elementary School (JSES), students are guided by textbooks and looked after by teachers. But outside the campus, the bustling city streets create dangers that are not discussed in math, science or in any other subjects.

According to faculty members, some students begin traveling to school on their own as young as seven years old. “Their daily commute can be very dangerous, since they often share the road with tricycles, cars, and trucks,” said JSES Principal Virginia Kahapay during CEMEX’s Listo Tayo! campaign in the school located at Barangay San Roque.

SI MENTONG MATIBAY played by CEMEX Public Affairs Director Chito Maniago is Listo Tayo! road safety ambassador

SI MENTONG MATIBAY played by CEMEX Public Affairs Director Chito Maniago is Listo Tayo! road safety ambassador

During the event, CEMEX employee volunteers conducted the road safety seminar composed of fun-filled activities. Needless to say, this was not an ordinary program.

“We designed the campaign to appeal to children,” explained Chito Maniago, CEMEX Director for Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. “We needed to do more than just tell them to stop, look, and listen before they cross the street. We want to instill a culture of safety in them, the same culture we practice in CEMEX.”

The students were introduced to CEMEX’s safety ambassador ‘Si Mentong Matibay’ who taught them the basics of road safety. Afterwards, they trooped to the library to watch a short video featuring Lito and Lita who are also students who need to go through a street full of moving vehicles just to get to school. In the video, Mentong reminded them that when crossing the street, it is an imperative to use the pedestrian lane.

Finally, the students were taken to an interactive exhibit of CEMEX trucks. Parts of the vehicles were labeled with corresponding safety guidelines and reminders such as why they need to avoid the truck’s blind spots and what it means when the truck is using hazard lights among others.

ROAD SAFETY 101. JSES students took a tour in and around this CEMEX truck to learn about safety basics

ROAD SAFETY 101. JSES students took a tour in and around this CEMEX truck to learn about safety basics

“I’m always happy to see companies like CEMEX produce supplementary initiatives that teach practical knowledge to Filipino children,” said Diosdado San Antonio, Regional Director, Department of Education (DepEd).

Home to more than 10,000 students, JSES is considered as the largest public school in the entire city. Majority of its pupils particularly the Grade 3 students benefitted from the road safety interactive lectures since it is also in this level that children start to walk to school alone.

Listo Tayo! has already visited two public schools in Antipolo and the company is currently drafting plans to roll out the program in other areas including cities in Metro Manila, Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Davao. CEMEX also ensures to partner with the area’s local government and DepEd unit to create a holistic engagement with the community.

Culture of safety

Listo Tayo! is in line with CEMEX’s umbrella safety program called Ligtas 24 Oras. The practice of safety operations inside and outside the plant is part of CEMEX’s sustainability framework.

Recently, the Safety Organization of the Philippines, Inc. (SOPI) awarded CEMEX for initiating the Most Outstanding Road Safety Program for 2012, highlighting thecontractor management that has already been cascaded to around 50 countries that comprise CEMEX’s footprint worldwide.

In the CEMEX global organization, the Philippine team was likewise lauded in its 2012 Global Health and Safety Awards for its best practices, besting CEMEX operations from the Americas and Europe.

Moreover, CEMEX Philippines was recognized by the Federation of Philippine Industries, Inc. (FPI) for implementing Outstanding Sustainable Development Practices.

SAFETY CHAMPIONS. CEMEX Philippines Country President Pedro Palomino with the brainchild of Listo Tayo! and Ligtas 24 Oras Logistics Director Mike Teotico

SAFETY CHAMPIONS. CEMEX Philippines Country President Pedro Palomino with the brainchild of Listo Tayo! and Ligtas 24 Oras Logistics Director Mike Teotico

Looking at the bigger picture

DepEd supervises more than two million public schools across the Philippines, and— just like JSES— other educational institutions have student needs that are not covered by curriculums.

The department has already revealed plans to allocate a major portion of its PhP293-billion budget to improving the country’s public school system— including the addition of new teachers and principals, as well as construction of new classrooms and repair of damaged ones.

While JSES has safety concerns, other schools have different needs. And the public sector cannot address these issues by itself.

“Meeting the educational needs of our children is a huge undertaking,” said San Antonio. “We will need help from all sectors to fill in the gaps inside and outside the classroom. Private companies can play a big part in this picture.”

As CEMEX has demonstrated, creating well-crafted initiatives can pave the way for progress in the nation’s educational system.

“Just like crossing a busy street, a company simply needs to stop, look, and listen,” explained Pedro Palomino, CEMEX Philippines Country President. “Whether it is teaching children about road safety or donating extra books, the private sector can easily find areas where its skills and resources can make a big difference.”

LISTO VOLUNTEERS. The CEMEX employee volunteers were quick to say ‘yes’ in educating the JSES kids on road safety

LISTO VOLUNTEERS. The CEMEX employee volunteers were quick to say ‘yes’ in educating the JSES kids on road safety

CEMEX Philippines is the manufacturer of the only eco-labeled cement brands in the country including Island Portland Cement, Palitada King, Rizal Portland Super, Rizal Masonry Cement, APO Portland Premium, APO Portland Cement, APO Masonry Cement, and APO Pozzolan. For more information, please log on to http://www.cemexphilippines.com. For partnerships, please contact the Public Affairs Unit and email chito.maniago@cemex.com.

Print Friendly

Comments are closed.

News Archive