President Rodrigo Duterte has signed proclamation No. 124, declaring the month of January as the ‘National Bible Month’ and the last week of the month as the ‘National Bible Week.’

The proclamation which was signed last January 5, says that the State “recognizes the religious nature of the Filipino people and the elevating influence of religion in human society.”

Duterte cites the following points from the 1987 Constitution in connection to this proclamation:

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.

History should bear 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 work for the betterment of their fellow human beings even of great cost to themselves.

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.

Earlier, Duterte claims that he is not part of the Catholic Church anymore.