National Bible Month

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History of the National Bible Month

National Bible Week

The history of a national decree honoring the Bible was originally authored as “Bible Week” by President Ferdinand Marcos. He signed Presidential Proclamation No. 2242, s 1982, declaring a nationwide Bible Week celebration in the month of November. It was later moved to January by President Corazon Aquino who issued Proclamation No. 44, s 1986. She wanted to start the year with the Word of God.

National Bible Month | Proclamation No. 124

President Fidel Ramos supported the two previous bills by declaring Presidential Proclamation No. 1067, s 1997, which called for the “Bible Week and Bible reading.” It was finally made into a “National Bible Month” when President Rodrigo Duterte signed Presidential Proclamation No. 124, s 2017. The lawmakers unanimously agreed on January as the “Bible Month” and the last week as “National Bible Week.”

National Bible Day | Republic Act 11163

In light of President Duterte’s support for a Bible Month, Senator Manny Pacquiao pushed for the “National Bible Day” on February 5, 2018. He is the main author and sponsor of the legislation. Republic Act 11163 was signed into law by President Duterte on December 20, 2018. The bill states the following:

AN ACT DECLARING THE LAST MONDAY OF JANUARY EVERY YEAR AS A SPECIAL WORKING HOLIDAY IN OBSERVANCE OF NATIONAL BIBLE DAY

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Enshrined in the constitution

The history of a “national observance” on the Bible has been a tradition since 1982. Lawmakers did not oppose the bill and continued to support honoring the Judeo-Christian God and the Bible as a national symbol of peace and spirituality.

Senator Manny Pacquiao

The bill is supported by the 1987 Constitution that dictates, “It is the policy of the state that the government shall aid and encourage the development of the moral character and spiritual foundation of the Filipino people”. Senator Pacquiao said in his privilege speech that Bible can nourish a person, “similar to how a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.”

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Despite being mocked by Christians and non-Christian because of his rhetoric, Senator Pacquiao remains faithful to his calling by promoting Bible reading. Consequently, the National Bible Day. (Photo: Facebook of Manny Pacquiao)

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Despite his colorful words against the Roman Catholic and “rape jokes,” Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte holds a Bible in a Marikina rally, in support of National Bible Month. (Photo: European Agency)

Christian traditions should be protected by law: Faith in the Judeo-Christian God is ingrained in the Filipino culture. For example, Christmas and the Holy Week are respected traditions. The law has provisions for a National Bible Month as well as a Filipino Values Month whose first pillar is “godliness.” Likewise, written on our currency is “Pinagpala ang bayan na ang Diyos ay ang Panginoon.”

The only way to protect our culture is by spreading the Gospel of Jesus. This tradition is under attacked by liberal ideology. The only way to protect these God-given rights is to continue spreading the Gospel of Christ.

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