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Lessons in Flight
SFFI's official online newsletter
Rotarians for a drug-free Philippines:
Date Posted: 2009-02-24
With the theme "Say NO to Drugs, Say YES to Life," the Rotary Club of Parañaque South, led by Pres. Ed Castillo, conducted the launching of the disrtict-wide project "Rotarians for a Drug-Free Philippines" last February 24, 2009 at the AIM Conference Center, Makati City.

Special guest speaker, Dangerous Drug Board Chair Vicente "Tito" Sotto III presented a situationer report on Drug Abuse in the Philippines, while keynote speaker, PDG David Tong of the Rotary Club of Singapore East D-3310 and Chair of Fellowship of Rotarians for the Prevention of Drug Abuse, delivered a speech on “How Rotarians Can Help in Eradicating Drug Abuse. The program was highlighted by the signing of pledges by DG Boyet Limon, Chairman Sotto, PDG David Tong, district officers and sponsoring Rotary club presidents.

Emphasizing the urgency of the project's concerns, RCPS Pres. Ed Castillo, who is also the Executive Director of Seagulls Flight Foundation, Inc., a premier drug rehabilitation facility in Tagaytay, called on his Rotary family that "it is now time we, as Rotarians, take action in the fight against drugs!" Following is the project brief by Pres. Ed Castillo.


Drugs destroy millions of lives every year. Popularized in the 1960’s by music and mass media, today they invade all aspects of society. The problem has many faces – from the college student partying for three days straight in ecstasy – or methamphetamine (shabu)- fueled rave, to the school child addicted to Ritalin ( methylphenidate), from the mother who cannot get through a day without taking pills for depression, to the CEO addicted to cocaine.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s 2005 World Drug Report, an estimated 200 million people, or nearly 5 percent of the world’s population between the ages 15 and 64, consume illegal drugs. This is an increase of 15 million drug users over the previous year. One hundred and sixty two million people abuse cannabis (marijuana or hashish), making it the most prevalent illicit substance, followed by amphetamine-type stimulants (35 million), opiates (16 million) and cocaine (13 million).

In the Philippines, there are about 6 million drug addicts reported nationwide and only about 5,000 were admitted/reported by various treatment facilities in the country. The mean age of the users is 28 years old, predominantly male, single, and from the urban area ( NCR ) but lately, they are getting younger and younger and even female cases are increasing in number.

The most disturbing aspect of this problem is how drug abuse damages our youth and the threat this poses for the future of our country. Young users suffer more illnesses, miss more days in school and are more prone to engage in criminal conduct.
It is about time for the Rotary Club to take action in response to an ever increasing demand for a drug awareness campaign district/nationwide. We have to start empowering our youth and adults with the truth about drugs, enabling them to make an educated decision to say no to drugs and help others do the same. The most effective weapon in the war against drugs is education. With everybody’s help, we can get the message out far and wide, “Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Life.“


The Rotary Club District 3830 is committed to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society through a myriad of programmes and campaign activities for the youth and adults towards a drug free life.


  1. To inspire all the Rotary Clubs to share in spreading the truth about the ill effects of illicit drugs on the lives of the victims of substance abuse;

  2. To empower the youth and adults to make wise and informed decisions when it comes to saying “NO” to drugs;
  3. To establish partnerships and linkages ( both local and foreign ) with other professional organizations and disciplines in order to support and intensify Rotary’s anti drug campaign program;
  4. To equip youth leaders, peer counselors and other youth groups with leadership and attitudinal training to serve as role models in their respective schools/communities/organizations;
  5. To recognize talent and develop creativity and resourcefulness of the youth in the performing arts as better alternative medium of expression.


  • Grade School, High School and College Students

  • Rotaractors
  • Interactors
  • Youth Leaders
  • Guidance Counselors/Administrators
  • Parents
  • Religious Groups


  • DISTRICT LAUNCH - February 24, 2009, 1:00 - 5:00 PM, AIM, Makati City

  • ANTI-DRUG YOUTH SUMMIT - March 14, 2009, 7:00AM-6:00PM, University of Makati


  • Rotary Club of Parañaque South (Lead Host)

  • Host Clubs from DI-3830
  • Dangerous Drugs Board
  • Seagulls Flight Foundation, Inc.
  • Manila Times (media partner)
  • Inner Wheel Club of the Philippines

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