MANILA, Philippines — The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to declare the last Monday of January as “National Bible Day.”
Voting 18-0, the Senate has passed Senate Bill 1270.
Senator Manny Pacquiao, the measure’s author and sponsor, said that the bill aims to unite all Christians and to celebrate the Holy Bible as the “cradle of human faith.”
“Let’s use this opportunity to spiritually empower the Filipino people to open their hearts for utmost nation-building, unity and solidarity,” Pacquaio said.
The senator earlier said that it also aims to strengthen the spiritual foundation of Filipinos, saying the Bible is the guidebook to eternal salvation.
“With the continuous increase in the population of Christianity in our country, I believe that the National Bible Holiday would become a catalyst that encourages the development of the moral character and spiritual foundation of every Filipino,” he said.
The Philippines has been named as the largest Christian country in Asia as 93 percent of Filipinos are Christians.
The boxing champ-turned politician added that making the Bible as the foundation of Christian life would help create a society with God-centered governance and people-centered services.
Senator Chiz Escudero, co-sponsor of the bill, said: “In celebrating this holiday, we pave the way for our fellow Christian to unite and celebrate their faith, which we hope will have a positive impact in our society and in nation building as well.”
The bill was also co-sponsored by Senator Joel Villanueva.
“We welcome the passage of the ‘National Bible Day’ bill on third and final reading. We believe that the Word of God is essential in our daily lives as it serves as guidance in every path we tread,” Villanueva said.
Pacquiao stressed that the 1987 Constitution calls on government “to support efforts to strengthen the ethical and spiritual values and to develop the moral character and spiritual foundation of every Filipino.”
He added that significance of the Holy Bible was acknowledged by former Presidents Ferdinand Marcos, Corazon Aquino, and Fidel Ramos, who all issued proclamations declaring the last week of January every year as “National Bible Week.”
During the proposed National Bible Day, activities and programs that would educate people on the importance of reading the Bible will be held in schools, churches, even government offices, including several media platforms.