I’ve never been one who frequently uses a taxi. From what my very little experience offered me was that taxis (and the cab drivers) are your quicker modes of travelling, especially when running late. But as my daily allowance would only consist of lunch money and some jeepney fare, riding taxis are just out of my options. To be honest, I’ve only ridden a taxi once (on my own, with me shouldering all the flag rates and the additional costs) and that was when I was going to be late for an extremely important major exam (and yes, I was still late).
Basically, my knowledge and appreciation of taxis are those of your average and regular commuter. But thanks to a brilliant initiative by one of the country’s first public service-oriented TV Stations, UNTV, my opinion on taxis has drastically changed.
Owing to its name, UNTV – Your Public Service Channel recently launched its latest advocacy, “Tulong Muna, Bago Pasada” (Rescue First, Drive Later). Like its predecessor, “Tulong Muna, Bago Balita” (Rescue First, News Later), it aims to invoke the habit of putting lives first before anything else. As taxis are indeed knowledgeable with all the possible routes, of city roads, and also almost always available at any time of day, they can become our extra patrol for the streets to prevent crimes and accidents. When they do happen to come across accidents on the road, they can help carry out emergency responses, thanks to the training provided to them.
“Tulong Muna, Bago Pasada” had now started its first batch of training sessions for taxi drivers willing to be part of this advocacy. The sessions include series of first-aid training and basic life support technicals useful for real-life scenarios like hit and runs and collisions. After undergoing several days of free training, our taxi drivers are given certificates, proving that they are well-equipped to give out the knowledge they learned in emergency situations.
This one-of-a-kind public service campaign is spearheaded by the country’s Mr. Public Service, Kuya Daniel Razon, with goals to make our roads safer for motorists and involving as many Filipino people to become public servants.
Thanks to this endeavours, I now see our Manong Taxi Drivers as not just road magicians, being able to transport you in one place to another with the least possible time, but also as the next line of dedicated and disciplined superheroes who do their part in serving the country and our fellowmen.
So the next time you ride a taxi, try to tell the Manong Driver about this public service campaign, and how he can help by contacting the following UNTV hotlines : 0938 803 0777 (Smart), 0926 633 5744 (Globe), 0923 416 1377 (Sun) and 441 8688 (PLDT).