By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House Committee on Revision of Laws has passed a bill seeking to declare January 16 of every year as a special working holiday to be known as the “National Baptist Day.”
The House panel, chaired by Zambales second district Rep. Cheryl Deloso-Montalla, passed House Bill No. 6179, principally authored by Minority Leader and Manila 6th district Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr.
Abante, a pastor, cited the need to strengthen ethical and spiritual values, develop moral character, and personal discipline among the Filipinos.
He said believers of the Bible should be given at least one day every year to proclaim the teachings, and standards and principles set by Jesus Christ.
“The Baptists in our country are committed to proclaim throughout our nation and our people that knowing, understanding, and practicing Biblical principles and standards are the ingredients of a healthy nation and people,” Abante said.
“And for the past 119 years that they have been in our country, the Baptist people have adhered to, practiced, and proclaimed, the Word of God, hence, they believe that they should be given a special and specific date to be devoted exclusively in proclaiming, teaching, reminding, and sharing to our people throughout the nation the grace and mercies of God, His goodness and faithfulness,” he said.
The House leader is a pastor of the Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church and Ministries in Sta. Ana, which he founded in 1975.
Last year, he batted for the passage of a bill seeking to make Bible reading mandatory in all public elementary and secondary schools.
Abante filed House Bill 2069 or the proposed Mandatory Bible Reading Act of 2019, which seeks to make Bible reading a part of the curriculum of public schools.
The bill has been pending with the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture, chaired by Pasig lone district Rep. Roman Romulo since July 29, 2019.