MANILA, Jan. 15, 2013— An ecumenical Bible distribution campaign fell short by more than four million of its target of five million by 2013, according to the Philippine Bible Society (PBS).
Norma Lucero, general secretary of PBS, an interfaith organization, said that they were only able to distribute 750,000 Bibles since 2008 when the campaign was launched.
Known as the May They Be One (MTBO) Bible Campaign, its primary objective was to distribute five million copies of Bibles to 5 million poor Filipino families within 5 years.
Lucero said they are considering many factors why the program fell short of its original target.
“It has several components…. The Bible formation and of course we are working with the Churches to do that,” Lucero said.
“Second, of course the funding… to raise the funds because the total printing cost and other expenses (for each Bible) is P150 but we make it available only at P50,” she said.
Due to the underlying circumstances, the PBS has added the campaign with two more years or extended it to 2015.
According to Lucero, they are also raising funds locally and internationally, adding that there are also Bible societies helping them from other countries.
“This is really a big challenge for us,” she said.
Last November, Catholic priests and pastors from evangelical churches play basketball with PBA icons at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City to help raise funds for the campaign.
The MTBO Bible campaign is a joint initiative of the PBS and the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate (ECBA).
Through the years, they said, the campaign has become a symbol of cooperation between the ECBA, PBS, of various parish and lay organizations involved in Bible apostolate and of Christian churches.
To further spread the Scripture especially to the youth, the PBS also tried to reach out to the smartphone and table generation with the new “audio Bible.”
In 2006, the PBS released the “e-Bible” which can be installed in laptops or personal computers. It also comes in Tagalog, Cebuano, Bicol, Pangasinan, Samarenyo and Hiligaynon. (CBCPNews)