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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