Philippine Bible Society

Bible work continues with the Ilaw sa Tahanan Program

The Ilaw sa Tahanan is the Philippine Bible Society’s centerpiece program. Since its launching in December 2002, PBS has provided over 23,000 families with the Bible through this program. Its goal is to reach the 150,000 poor families who are to be awarded with housing facilities by the government.

How it started

The Ilaw sa Tahanan program was a response to a challenge presented by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her first State of the Nation Address on July 23, 2001. The government’s housing agency, the National Housing Authority (NHA), would build a total of 150,000 houses for the poor. While the government saw this program as a means of solving the bulging urban poor population, PBS saw this as an opportunity to realize its vision of “a Bible for every home.” The government would build a house for each of these families, but God’s Word will make it a home.

The target: poor families

The country’s population is 84M47% of which are living in 200 urban areas across the country. This number is steadily increasing, brought on by rural poverty which is forcing people to migrate into cities. High population growth rate (2.34% yearly) and rural-to-urban migration has also resulted in the proliferation of squatter colonies. Presently, there are1.4M families living in squatter areas, 52% of them (or 728,000) in Metro Manila.
In some cases, the government must relocate squatters to give way to necessary development projects. A recent example are the 19,000 families living along the railways who will be relocated in order for the Northrail Project to commence. Although they are ensured of permanent dwelling after relocation, they still lack the budget to satisfy their daily basic needs. Acquiring a Bible – an unrealized necessity for their daily spiritual nurture – is the last thing on their minds. Free Bibles for them has become PBS’ concern.

Ilaw sa Tahanan… The Bible

The challenge to reach these families gave birth to the Ilaw sa Tahanan family Bible. This Bible contains the Magandang Balita Biblia along with features specifically addressing the needs of the target audience.
Most of these families come from slum areas where gambling, vice, child abuse, illegal drug-dealing and criminal activities are rampant. Their relocation to new communities promise a new beginning. God’s Word in their new residence will hopefully renew their lives and provide them with a strong foundation to establish godly homes and communities.

The Program

Ilaw sa Tahanan is not just a free family Bible. It is also a program involving partnerships between PBS, churches, and government and private agencies. This program has brought together 100 churches, and private (Gawad Kalinga, Habitat) and government (NHA, Philippine Ports Authority, Department of Public Works and Highways) agencies.

Going where the need is greatest

Orderly and meaningful distribution is accomplished through close coordination with partner churches and agencies. Since 2002, PBS has been to 36 relocation sites in Tanay and Rodriguez, Rizal, Batangas, San Jose and Norzagaray, Bulacan, and Pampanga, and depressed communities within Metro Manila.

Encouraging results

The ultimate goal of the program is to see lives changed, families strengthened, and communities transformed, which all eventually lead to national transformation. Reports from church partners who conduct follow up are very encouraging. (Read testimonies of changed lives)

The work continues

For 2005-2007, PBS aims to distribute the remaining 75,000 copies from the 150,000 committed to the program. To be able to accomplish this goal, PBS needs P11.25M. Let us pray together that the Lord will provide the needed resources. Also pray that God will provide new partners and contacts and strengthen old ties to effectively address the needs of Ilaw sa Tahanan recipients.

Most importantly, let us pray for the families who received the Bibles, for enlightenment from the Word and willingness to obey.

Want to help bring the Ilaw to more homes? Give to the program.
A Dumagat child carries her
family’s copy of the Ilaw sa Tahanan
and the Joseph portion,

I am a Bible Ambassador because I believe that the Bible can help people a lot. And knowing the Bible, people come in touch with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, D.D.
Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, D.D.Apostolic Administrator, Achdiocese of Manila

Gusto kong makipag-fellowship sa kanila, masaya sa Philippine Bible Society kapag may mga (membership) meetings.  Gusto ko rin madagdagan knowledge ko... yung opportunity makapag.distribute ng Biblia sa maraming tao at magamit ako ng Panginoon. Pangatlo ay yung ma.bless din ako and be a blessing to many people.

Ptra. Dolores “Loy” Fulgencio
Ptra. Dolores "Loy" FulgencioAnnual PBS Member

It's an honor and a privilege for me to support the Philippine Bible Society - to reach out to the unreachable people by giving Bibles not only in the Philippines but the whole world.

Ptra. Nina Vergara
Ptra. Nina VergaraAnnual PBS Member

“It is a blessing to be able to support our local churches in need of Bibles and Bible study programs. It is our hope that they not only grow in terms of membership but also have the heart to extend spiritual help to others, just like how they have received help.”

Ptr. Callum TabadaUCCP Cosmopolitan Administrative Pastor (AACP benefactor)

“We are thankful since each individual now has a Bible. Our members will no longer have a hard time reading. Thank you also for the discipleship materials for these will help all in getting to know Jesus and to know how to be a better Christian.”

Ptr. Eric BulanteChurch Pastor, Shepherd's Church in Hills of Zion, Talim Island (AACP beneficiary)

“Philippine Bible Society organizes trainings that really respond to the needs of people who are suffering.
It has well-equipped leaders who facilitate trainings and workshops.
Its mission to reach out to Filipinos using God’s Word is fulfilled through its works.”

Miriam del RosarioExecutive director at The Birthright Educators Foundation

“I praise and thank our Almighty God that, through PBS, I now own a Poimen version of MBB (Magandang Balita Biblia) in the national language of the Philippines – Tagalog.
Knowing Matthew 10:32-33, I read and study the Bible so that I will not be dismayed when the Lord Jesus Christ comes. Life is too short compared with the promise of eternal life in God’s Kingdom.”

Jorge BianesLocal Church Elder at LJOR Unified Commonwealth

I think this is very helpful to every readers. The word of the Lord are the food of our soul which we always need every minute of our life. I dont often read the Bible but everytime i open it, God was always like in front of me and speaking as what is something i'm just needing to hear. He speaks to me and i can feel it. A million thanks to You my Lord.

CrisTin Bocar AtregenioHousewife, Stay-at-home parent

I love the ministry of the Philippine Bible Society in sharing the Word to the world. God bless PBS!

Ganni BanzueloScripture Marketing Officer at Philippine Bible Society