The Road to Road-proofing Children

CEMEX helps children stay safe on the road with the Listo Tayo! Road Safety Program

LISTO TAYO! Pupils of Jesus Cabarus Elementary School had a fun learning session on road safety with
CEMEX employee volunteers.

Four kids stand in front of a crowd of fellow children. They’re understandably timid at first, but the allure of a prize for holding their breath the longest is hard to resist for these 8 to 10-year olds.

Si Mentong Matibay, CEMEX's safety ambassador, bends over to ask the second girl’s name. “Alona,” she answers shyly. She then takes in as much air as she could and starts to hold “Listo Tayo…” for as long as possible. She makes it to the winning time of 15 seconds, only a second more than the kid after her. Alona happily troops back to her classmates and pays attention to what they would be doing for the rest of the morning.

Alona is only one of over 700 third and fourth grade pupils of the Jesus S. Cabarus Elementary School that cement manufacturer CEMEX Philippines is educating about road safety through their program called “Listo Tayo! Ligtas 24-Oras.”

“Kasi ang Grade 3 and 4 pupils, sila ‘yung nag-uumpisa nang pumasok sa school mag-isa (It’s because the Grade 3 and 4 pupils are the ones who start to go to school on their own),” says Katrina Manzano-Flores from the CEMEX Logistics team, on why these grade levels were specifically chosen for the program.

The program, according to Manzano-Flores, aims to educate kids to be more cautious when they travel to and from school each day, whether on foot or in tricycles. Since the school is located within the vicinity of CEMEX’s Solid Cement Plant in Antipolo, where massive trucks pass through every day, road safety awareness among kids is a top priority for CEMEX.

“Ang goal nito is to instill safety consciousness sa mga bata lalo na sa mga naglalakad lang papasok sa school (The goal is to instill safety consciousness among kids especially those who walk to school),” Manzano-Flores explains, adding that the project is a new addition to CEMEX’s existing safety programs that focus more on the community around the plant instead of just the people within Solid.

SAFETY IS A PRIORITY. CEMEX Corporate Communications Director Chito Maniago is 'Si Mentong Matibay'.
Mentong shared the road safety imperatives with the kids of Cabarus Elementary School.

The program consists of three major activities, where pupils are educated through first-hand experience instead of being spoken to about safety. During the initial session, the pupils watched a video in the audio-visual room, played games at the covered court, and most importantly, explored two CEMEX cement trucks. The trucks were labeled all around with guidelines and reminders about parts of the truck and why the kids should be cautious about it.

Kids like Alona were given the chance to climb up and explore the trucks, with CEMEX employee volunteers acting as tour guides. For the children, it was like a mini-field trip, except that they didn’t have to leave school for it.

With the school having a population of 2,504 and an annual budget that’s not quite enough to provide books and school supplies for each student, field trips or experiential education for the students are hard to come by.

“This is learning through the environment. Not just the classrooms,” notes School Principal Mary Jane Halili and further explains the situation of the grade school pupils every day.

“Delikado talaga lalo na’t minsan may nakikita akong mga bata na mayroon na ngang covered walk, nandoon pa rin talaga sila sa street kung saan malalaki ang truck na nakakasalubong (It’s really dangerous especially when I see kids not using the covered walk and go about wandering the street where they come across big trucks).”

According to the Metro Manila Development Authority, there have been around 15,500 road accidents recorded in Metro Manila from 2010 to 2012, which involved pedestrians.

While there have been no reported incidents relating to CEMEX trucks in the Solid Cement Plant area and its surrounding communities, CEMEX and the Logistics team in charge of trucks and haulers do not want to wait for something to happen before they act.

“We are choosing to act now and prevent any sort of accident from happening. We believe it is our social responsibility to ensure that not only are our truck drivers alert and well-versed in road safety, but also those people, especially kids, whom they pass by every day,” says Mike Teotico, CEMEX Logistics Director and the brainchild behind the project.

“Safety is a top priority for CEMEX globally. Whether its safety in operations or on the road,” adds Chito Maniago, CEMEX Director for Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. “We put a very high premium on keeping everyone in and around CEMEX safe.”

Halili echoes the school’s gratitude for CEMEX’s initiative. “Nakatulong talaga sa amin ang programa na ito na mag-disseminate ng info sa mga bata “This program has been very helpful in disseminating information to kids.”

“Bago po tumawid dapat titingin muna sa kaliwa at kanan, pati na po tumawid sa tamang tawiran. Dahan-dahan lang po kapag naglalakad at huwag tatakbo, (Before crossing the street, look left and right and also use the pedestrian lane. Walk without hurry and don’t run,” Alona says without scrunching her eyebrows, indicating that she understands the rules when walking the streets.

According to CEMEX Logistics Director Mike Teotico, the company will roll out the program in several schools in Metro Manila, Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Davao starting this year. CEMEX is preparing to do the initiative at the Sumulong Elementary School in Rizal soon benefitting more than a thousand students.

Alona is now road-proof, and she is at least one child that, through CEMEX’s ‘Listo Tayo’ Program, can be kept safe.


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 For partnerships, please contact the Public Affairs Unit and email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .