The Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte said that in January will be the "National Bible Month ".
In a statement, signed on January 5, he
states that "the State recognizes the religious nature of the Filipino
people and the exhilarating influence of religion in human society. It
is right and proper that the national attention is focused on the
importance of reading and studying the Bible, to shape the spiritual,
moral and social fiber of citizenship ".
The signing of the document -
according Duterte - is the constitutional obligation of promoting
ethical and spiritual values of the citizens and help them improve
Although in the past Duterte has recommended people not rely on
religions, especially the Catholic Church, the Church has willingly
accepted the president's statement.
Msgr. Ruperto Santos of Balanga has regarded the gesture as
"commendable and inspiring" while Msgr. Robert Mallari Di San Jose said:
"We thank the President for having given due recognition to the
religiosity of the people and the importance of the Holy Scriptures to
improve the nation."
Msgr. Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos has called the
declaration a ' "golden opportunity" for the parishes to "work
together" with government units during the observance of 2017 as the
year of the parish.