Building a culture of road safety
- ‘Si Mentong Matibay’ teaches students about road safety in 3rd leg of CEMEX’s Listo Tayo! program
On a daily basis, hundreds of students from Mambugan Elementary School (MES) walk by themselves to the campus. Their morning commute is far from being safe as they share the bustling streets with hundreds of vehicles including tricycles, jeepneys, and trucks. Their trip home is no less dangerous, as they are dismissed during the busiest hours of the day.
“Before they get to school, our students need to cross several streets including the highway,” says Marilou Lico, MES principal. “Needless to say, these kids need to be made aware of the basic principles of road safety. Otherwise, accidents would be inevitable.”
In response to the issue, cement manufacturer CEMEX Philippines launched Listo Tayo! Road Safety Program, a comprehensive initiative that educates students about the do’s and don’ts while on the road.
‘Listo’ kids mean safer communities
Mambugan Elementary School, located in Antipolo, Rizal, is the third school visited by the Listo Tayo! team. It has about 3,500 students, most of them walking to school on their own.
“Road accidents are a major concern in the country,” says Mike Teotico, CEMEX Philippines logistics director and also brainchild of the program. “As a proactive member of the community, we want to be preventive and not reactive to this issue— especially if it involves our youngest and most precious citizens.”
“There are risks on the road,” adds Atty. Gina Eala, the company’s vice president for human resources, during the Listo program in MES. “The initiative reminds children of this, and they arm them with the necessary knowledge to conduct themselves safely during their trips to and from school.”
‘Si Mentong Matibay’ and the safety fleet
Recently, around 600 grade three students from MES were taught about the basic principles of road safety by ‘Si Mentong Matibay’— CEMEX safety ambassador.
The groundbreaking initiative includes a safety video where ‘Mentong Matibay’ is telling school children to use the pedestrian lanes during their commutes. He also reminded them not to forget to properly stop, look, and listen before they cross the street.
More importantly, the students were given the opportunity to explore a couple of CEMEX trucks— which are labeled with corresponding safety guidelines and reminders in different parts. CEMEX employee volunteers were stationed in the trucks to explain what blind spots are, what convex mirrors are for, what hazard light means, and a lot more street-smart tips.
“A child’s safety is non-negotiable. For instance, we tell them about the blind spots to raise their safety awareness,” narrates Teotico. “And we remind them to avoid these segments whenever they encounter these massive rigs on the road.”
During the campaign in MES, Department of Education (DepEd) – Antipolo supervisor Albeno Del Monte Jr. explains, “Safety is a lesson children need to carry inside and outside the classroom.”
For Del Monte, programs like Listo Tayo! go a long way in terms of instilling a culture of safety among the students. “Other companies can take a page from CEMEX when it comes to developing well-crafted and relevant initiatives.”
Listo Tayo! is in line with CEMEX’s umbrella safety program dubbed as Ligtas 24-Oras. The practice of safety operations inside and outside the plant is part of CEMEX’s sustainability framework.
This 24-hour safety manifesto brought awards for CEMEX Philippines. The Safety Organization of the Philippines, Inc. (SOPI) has recognized CEMEX for implementing the Most Outstanding Road Safety Program. The CEMEX global organization has also commended the CEMEX Philippine team for its best practices in health and safety.
After Mambugan Elementary School, the Listo Tayo! campaign will be cascaded to other areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao namely Manila, Batangas, Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao among others. Previously, it was held at Jesus Cabarrus Elementary School and Juan Sumulong Elementary School. To date, Listo Tayo has benefitted more than 2,000 students in grades 3 and 4 among the three schools.
“We are currently partnering with DepEd and public schools that could use our program,” explains Teotico. “But even after that, there is still a long way to go to secure road safety for kids.”
Forward looking, CEMEX envisions Listo Tayo! expanding and gaining more partners as it reaches more schools and communities.
“Listo Tayo! promised to pave the road for Filipino children,” recalls Teotico. “And that road will be stretched to include as many beneficiaries as possible.”