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For four Saturdays last school year, men and women in red shirts that sported the Caltex Star sat with first-graders in a school in Pandacan. What was the Caltex Star, symbol of petroleum energy, doing in school? The red-shirted men and women were volunteers in the Caltex Mentor Program (CMP), the first attempt of a private organization to provide actual hands-on help in education.

The first CMP project focused on improving the reading skills of first-graders through one-on-one mentoring. Thirty Caltex employee-volunteers and their spouses underwent a comprehensive training program to prepare them to teach English and Pilipino reading skills. They were assigned to first-graders because these are the easiest group to mentor for teachers with no previous teaching experience. Eighty-three students from a group of 187 non-readers participated in the project.

The CMP also measured the effectivity of the mentoring through student assessments and post-project evaluations. Of the 83 students that had taken the remedial reading program, 51 passed the Oral Reading Assessment exam.

The reading skills built through mentoring program will not grow unless the students have a interesting variety of reading material available. Caltex has therefore endowed the school with a Learning Resource Center that provides a range of educational material for the students and teachers to use.

The remedial reading program is just the beginning. Caltex hopes to build a team of employee-volunteers for the CMP that will undertake science, math, and computer mentoring as well. The CMP will also be implemented in Batangas.

The CMP is just one of many Pandacan community projects that Caltex is involved in. Some others are:

Earn While You Learn
This program began with Caltex providing financial assistance to the CMP children’s parents to sew and supply school uniforms to various schools in Pandacan. The livelihood program has since expanded to include meat curing and processing.

Toothful Neighbor
Caltex has undertaken dental missions with the Manila Health Department in public schools in District 6 of Manila composed of Pandacan, Sta Mesa and Sta Ana. Students get free dental check ups, tooth extractions, fluoride treatments as well as lessons in oral hygiene. This program has since been extened to Pandacan residents. Some 3000 children from 4 schools and residents from 5 barangays have availed of the program to date.

Come on, baby, fight the fire
A Firefighting and Safety Training program conducted within the Pandacan terminal gave local barangay leaders and residents hands-on experience in firefighting techniques. The trainees also came away with an understanding of the basic elements of fire, its causes, the correct method of putting out a fire, the types of fire extinguishers and their proper use, the right mobilization of personnel, and proper handling of firefighting equipment.

Magandang Tabi, Bayan.
Caltex provides finances and leadership in the declogging of barangay waterways, waste segregation and recycling, and a cleanliness and beautification campaign.


I shirt the sheriff and I even clad the deputies.
Caltex has donated barangay police shirts to Pandacan barangays immediately next to the Terminal. The shirts, which display the Caltex star in the area one would wear a Texan Ranger’s star, are intended to enhance the authority and visibility of barangay police.


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The Dealer's Forum is the official newsletter of ACDPI. It is published thrice a year.