President Rodrigo Duterte has declared January the Filipino Bible Month and the last week of January as National Bible Week.
The Philippines is a nation of strong Christian background. As such the declaration which was signed on January 5, 2017 is viewed as an essential requisite in administering the affairs of the nation.
According to the president, declaring the national month for the Bible will help the people study the Bible and improve their spiritual lives which in turn will positively manifest in the general welfare of the nation.
As much as the President has issues with the “religious” mindset, he accepts and understands the need for the citizenry to be spiritually abreast.
Part of the declaration document read thus:
“It is fitting and proper for the molding of the spiritual, moral and social fiber of our citizenry, that national attention be focused on the importance of reading and studying the Bible.
“While maintaining neutrality in its treatment of all religious communities, the government is not precluded from pursuing valid objectives secular in character even if it would have an incidental result affecting a particular religion or sect.”
According to Evangelical Focus, the National Bible week has existed traditionally in the Philippines. Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Presidential Proclamation No. 2242 on November 19, 1982.
Some other past presidents recognized it.
President Duterte’s declaration re-affirmed it while stressing the need for it. He extended the Bible celebration by proclaiming January, the Filipino Bible month. Now the country will be recognizing the National Bible Week as well as the National Bible month.
The statement says that the National Bible Month declaration honors the 1987 Constitution which “calls on the government to support efforts to strengthen the ethical and spiritual values and to develop the moral character of the Filipino people.”
It further said that the Bible has profoundly impacted nations; it has inspired transformation, selflessness and patriotism in the lives of both leaders and the people.