The Sanlakbay Program for the rehabilitation of drug users, Pres. Jun Jun Dayrit’s signature project, is moving forward according to plan. Last Friday, 17 March, Pres. Jun Jun led a group of Rotarians—PN Bimbo Mills, Johnny Ang, Sec. Boy Arteche, and Ai-Ai Galvez—on a visit to the San Ildefonso Parish in Brgy. Pio del Pilar, Makati to start the second leg of the program. Sanlakbay is the Archdiocese of Manila’s program to save the drug users who surrendered to the police in response to the government’s sweeping Operation Tokhang.
The San Ildefonso visit was three-pronged -- it was: one, a meeting with those in charge of the program in the parish—Dr. Arwin Serrano, Sanlakbay head, and Fr. Arvin Paz, SDB, parish priest; second, the turnover of the Club’s donation of communication equipment—a Lenovo laptop, an Epson printer, and an Epson projector/screen set; and third, a meet-and-greet with the second batch of 50 “kalakbays” (fellow journeyers), erstwhile drug dependents from Bangkal, Palanan and San Isidro who are about to embark on the challenging journey of recovery and reformation.
Beginning the program with a prayer, Fr. Arvin delivered a note of welcome, explaining that the program is open to all barangays in Makati. Addressing the program participants, he said that this is the start of change, of a new future for them, and that individual success will depend on their individual commitment to see themselves through.
Atty. Claro Certeza, Makati City administrator, recalled the program’s shaky beginning, adding that with perseverance, problems have been overcome. He also lauded the application of the community approach, where the private sector, the Church, the local government unit and the police have come together to solve the complex drug problem.
Pres. Jun Jun recounted how a radio program made him decide to adopt the program for RC Makati and how the Club donated to Caritas Manila the same communication equipment (and a utility van) last year. He also shared his plan to invite some of the Sanlakbay graduates to the club meeting on April 17 to deliver testimonials, the better for club members to appreciate the program and see how it is changing lives.
Dr. Arwin gave an overview of the program, from its inception in September 2016 at the San Roque Parish in Blumentritt, Manila and its start in Makati in August 2017. He also outlined the components of the Sanlakbay program—catechetical instruction, values formation, individual and family counseling, therapy sessions in music and arts, sports, lakbay-aral, livelihood, random drug testing before, during and after the program, and an after-care program for the graduates—and hammered down the house rules every “kalakbay” should abide by.
The fundamental objective of the program is evolving from rehabilitation to prevention, an even more challenging proposition that requires more hands on deck.
The parish awarded a certificate of appreciation to the Club for its support and assistance.