Philippine Senator Manny Pacquiao recently proposed a bill to observe every last Monday of January as the 'National Bible Day' for his country and be proclaimed as a national holiday.
Senate Bill No. 1270 states that as a country which is imbued with Christianity as its primary religion and as the largest Christian nation in the Asia Pacific, the holiday aims to distinguish the importance of the Holy Bible with regards to Christian faith.
"This bill seeks to boldly emphasize the holiness of The Living Truth by allotting a holiday for its celebration on every last Monday of January, which shall be known as 'National Bible Day,'" Senator Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao stated in the bill the large figure of Christians that is dominating the Philippines which estimates to a total of 93 percent of the Philippine population, according to Inquirer. This made the country the largest Christian population in the Asia-Pacific. The last census of the National Statistics Office recorded more than 74 million Filipinos who follow the Roman Catholic Church which roughly estimates to 80 percent of the population. The remaining percent consists of various Christian religions and cults.
The Philippines also holds the fifth spot of the largest Christian population in the world.
"The core of Christian belief is grounded on the Holy Bible. Sermons and homilies of Christian churches dwell in the teachings of the Bible. It is the primary source of spiritual manna. It forms and transforms lives of people from generations to generations. It serves as the foundation of spiritual, moral, and social fiber, which molds a socially responsible citizenry and strong nation building," Pacquiao said.
The senator also reiterated the importance of the Holy Bible which was also recognized by higher authorities before him. Former President Ferdinand Marcos declared in Presidential Proclamation No. 2242 that the last Sunday of November be observed as a Bible Sunday which would be followed by a 'National Bible Week'.
This period of Bible holiday was changed by Former President Fidel Ramos in his Presidential Proclamation No. 1067 which stated that the Bible Week be observed on the last week of January.
Following the presidential proclamation of Ramos, Pacquaio said that the last Monday of January is in line with the Bible Week. He stated that this Bible holiday is a 'call' for Christians residing in the Philippines to unite, take part, and celebrate the Holy Bible which serves as the foundation of the Christian faith.