MANILA — President Rodrigo R. Duterte has declared the last Monday of January every year as a special working holiday, in observance of the National Bible Day.
Under Republic Act 11163 he signed on Dec. 20, 2018, the President recognized the value of the Holy Bible as the core of Christian faith, especially in a predominantly Christian nation.
“As a predominantly Christian nation and the largest Christian nation in the Asia Pacific, this Act recognizes the value of the Holy Bible as the core of Christina faith,” the R.A. read.
The law emphasizes 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.
It was passed by the Senate as Senate Bill No. 1270 on Feb. 5, 2018 and adopted by the House of Representatives as an amendment to House Bill No. 7544 on Oct. 10, 2018.
Senator Manny Pacquiao, the bill’s author and sponsor in the Senate, said his measure calls for all Christians to “unite altogether and celebrate the Holy Bible as the cradle of human faith.”
He said the proposed holiday was necessary for the “betterment of the country through God centered governance and people centered services.”
Moreover, the senator-boxer also noted that the 1987 Constitution itself 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.”
The act will take effect 15 days after its complete publication in the Official Gazette or at least in two newspapers of general circulation.
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