The Bible was the most widely read book in the Philippines in 2017, according to data from the National Book Development Board.

Agenzia Fides reports that the board's data shows that, despite growing secularisation, 72 per cent of the population still read the Scriptures.

Catholic Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon welcomed the results of the survey, telling the Catholic news agency that "it is good news that the Bible remains a very read book in our country".

The bishop reports that "in the last 10 years 10 million copies of the Bible have been distributed to the Filipino families".

Meanwhile, Jayson Marco Caesar Leones, assistant at the Centro Escolar of Manila University and a Catholic layman, told Fides that despite the frequent use of social media, "Filipinos do not forget to read the Bible as a source of comfort and inspiration to face the challenges of the present: not only Catholics, but also the faithful of other Christian denominations read the Bible to start their day."

"I remember a song that speaks of the importance of reading the Bible and says: take the Bible, open it, read it, understand it, it is the source of our hope, the Filipinos, known to be resilient in times of calamity and disaster, by reading and listening to the Word of God in the Holy Scriptures, gain strength and courage to be ready to face the storms of life", says Leones.

A similar survey conducted in 2012 found 58 per cent of those interviewed said that the Bible was the most read book. The Philippines has a population of 110 million, 80 per cent of whom are Catholics, divided into 86 dioceses.