The Philippines is the only Christian country in Asia, but because of the separation of the state and the church, religious activities such as praying and reading the Bible are not actually required in schools. While secular private schools might have Religion or something similar as a separate subject, such is not imposed in public schools.
But House Minority Leader Bienvenido “Benny” Abante Jr. wants to change that as he filed a bill seeking to make Bible reading mandatory in all public elementary and secondary schools across the country. The senior pastor of the Metropolitan Bible Baptist Ekklesia, Abante filed House Bill 2069 in hopes that it will guide people towards the path of righteousness, especially the country’s leaders.
He believes that this is important, particularly because the Filipino people may be failing to appreciate the power, importance, and relevance of the Bible.
“If only the Bible is read, proclaimed, obeyed and practiced, the Philippines, our beloved and only country, would be a much better place to live in, and our government would be a government of honesty, righteousness and order,” Abante explained.
“If only biblical discipline, principles and standards are taught and inculcated in the minds of our children, there would be no much problems on leadership, governance, and peace and order.”
In Abante’s bill, reading the Bible is not part of a religious subject but will be incorporated in the students’ lessons in English and Filipino. He proposed that these subjects in public elementary and secondary schools all over the Philippines will include the reading of, discussion, and examination on the Bible. Muslim students, on the other hand, will read the Quran.
For the proper compliance with the bill’s provisions, the Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd) is tasked to promulgate the implementing rules and regulations within 30 days from its effectivity.