Filipino City Requires Taxi Drivers to Display Bible Verses on Vehicles

31 Dec


TAGBILARAN, Philippines – A city in the Philippines mandates all of its taxi drivers to paint Scripture on the back of their vehicles, also known as three-wheeled motorcycles, in an effort to curb crime in the city.

While the regulation in Tagbilaran has been in effect for over twenty years, reports have just recently highlighted the requirement.

“This is the only city in the Philippines that has such an ordinance,” Samuel Belderol, who issues taxi licenses at city hall, told reporters. “We want the world to know that we are a God-fearing city and that these Bible verses help us draw closer to God.”

“We only issue 3,000 licenses every year and each one must have a unique verse on it, no duplicate verses allowed,” he explained, nothing that the drivers are assigned a particular Bible verse.

Those that fail to have the Scripture painted on their taxis may be fined or have their license revoked.

City Council member Lucile Lagunay said that the presence of the verses has helped to change the atmosphere in the city, and has consequently lowered the crime rate.

“With a Biblical message at the back of the units, commuters get to see the message every day and it helps in way to preserve the peace in our city,” she stated. “Everyday commuters get to see the biblical message on the tricycles and who want to think of crime when they see biblical passages everywhere.”

Some of the verses painted on the taxis include, “I am the way, the truth and the life,” “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul,” and “God loves a cheerful giver.”

“Years ago people used to paint obscene messages and images on their tricycles, but the city ordinance changed that,” Buala Siongiex, who has been painting verses on the motorcycles for two decades, stated. “Now when you read the word of God you can’t help but feel alive, even a little bit of God’s word makes you happy.”

While it is not clear how the law was passed or who was responsible for its passage, the vast majority of Filipinos are Roman Catholic, with an estimated 2.8 percent professing to be evangelical Christians as there are numerous Baptist, Pentecostal and non-denominational congregations throughout the nation as well.

As previously reported, in 2012, hundreds of Christians and other youth marched in Manila to protest a performance on the island by American pop star Lady Gaga. Dr. Benny Abante, former Manila congressman and pastor of Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church, took to the streets with approximately 70 youth from his church. He denounced Gaga’s song, “Born This Way,” which he believes is manipulative toward young people and promotes homosexuality.

“It is not only immoral, it is a blasphemy,” he told ABS-CBN News. “The Lord Jesus Christ is being maligned here and mocked.”

“[It’s] a direct affront to the moral and religious values that our nation has been known for,” Abante said.

Good for Tagbilaran! May the Faith continue to grow there, as they have already demonstrated faithfulness.


8 responses to “Filipino City Requires Taxi Drivers to Display Bible Verses on Vehicles

  1. electricangel

    December 31, 2014 at 4:33 am

    I appreciate their faith, Will. It shows what happens when the established faith of the land corresponds with what the people actually share.

    Of course, we live in a religious society as well that forces us to recite scriptures from its Progressive holy book, and tithe (what’s a tithe when it’s 50% or more?) in support of that Faith. So I am always leery when I see the State used to compel faith, even the right Faith.

  2. Will S.

    December 31, 2014 at 4:39 am

    Yes, me too. But it’s so refreshing, and I like the sheer audacity of it. 🙂

  3. Spacetraveller

    December 31, 2014 at 4:42 am

    This happens in Africa as well. All public buses/taxis have Bible verses inscribed on the back. Whenever I go there on holiday, it amuses and amazes me, and of course, I fnd it inspiring. Why can’t this be done in the West?

  4. Will S.

    December 31, 2014 at 5:40 am

    Because we are committed to pluralism and neutrality; alas…

  5. feeriker

    December 31, 2014 at 10:23 am

    So I am always leery when I see the State used to compel faith, even the right Faith.

    Exactly so. While the motives of the civil authorities in this case might be pure, history is replete with examples of Caesar co-opting the Christian faith for his own selfish and unholy ends. I also reflexively go into “shields up” mode whenever I encounter temporal authorities citing Scripture. Rarely ever does this portend anything good or righteous. Hopefully this is one genuine exception.

  6. Mark Citadel

    December 31, 2014 at 11:19 am

    electricangel – given the background of where we are in the Western World, your apprehensiveness is understandable, however we must recognize the stark contrast between the Modern World and the World of Tradition. One has all things out of order and the other is structured in the correct way. Regardless of whatever the subject is, if a Modern society is involved, it will be corrupted and twisted beyond recognition.

    Yet for Traditional society the example given here is exactly what one would expect to see. There are not the delineated concepts of ‘religion’ and ‘politics’ for the Traditionalist. Religion as a mere private belief is a Modern concept. For Traditional society all things of such a nature were encompassed by words that meant ‘way of life’. You could not separate these elements and somehow get just ‘religion’ out of it.

    The Divine Realm is the most consequential thing in human existence. To reserve it as a private curiosity is in effect branding our society as one which does not recognize its purpose. What’s more, the United States serves as perhaps the ultimate example that no ‘constitutional protections’ are going to actually protect devotional practices. Modernity is like an acid and will burn anything in its path, constitutions be damned.

    There is always the potential for the state to abuse anything, whether it controls it, is in partnership with it, is there to protect it (etc…). The Traditional form of state sees its spiritual authorities and its political authorities with real power, in government. The privatization of ‘religion’ has not protected nor strengthened faith at all, but has actually empowered the state as it has inherited the authorities that used to belong to the church (in a similar regard, it has also taken the authorities that once belonged to fathers as heads of household).

    What is going on in this city is encouraging, especially the recognition of its positive effects. The Words of God have power. We use them too sparingly. Pluralism and so-called ‘neutrality’ (which is in fact a bias towards evil in sheep’s clothing) are death knells of a society. A society must be whole, with its knowledge of right and wrong being universal among the people and the axis of the Divine Realm must run through its center, opening once more the gateway to our own harnessing of energies beyond ourselves. All other concerns apart from that which is Divine, are ultimately meaningless. Salvation is the goal of all humanity.

  7. Will S.

    December 31, 2014 at 11:25 am

    @ feeriker: As Mark notes below your comment, this is of course not the Western world, so a different situation. Too bad we’ve ‘evolved’ past that…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s