President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a proclamation declaring the month of January as the 'National Bible Month' and the last week of the month as the 'National Bible Week.'
Proclamation No. 124, signed last January 5, said the State "recognizes the religious nature of the Filipino people and the elevating influence of religion in human society."
Duterte cited that the 1987 Constitution calls on the government to support efforts to strengthen the ethical and spiritual values and to develop the moral character of the Filipino people.
"It is fitting and proper, for the molding of the spiritual, moral, and social fiber of our citizenry, that national attention be focused on the importance of reading and studying the Bible," his proclamation read.
The proclamation added that history bears witness to the "profound impact of the Bible on the life of nations, and how it has moved and inspired many people, including statesmen and social reformers to for work for the betterment of their fellow human beings even of great cost to themselves."
It also asserted that while maintaining neutrality in its treatment of all religious communities, "the government is not precluded from pursuing valid objectives secular in character even if it would have an incidental result affecting a particular religion or sect."
Duterte earlier admitted that he is no longer a member of the Catholic Church.