Wall of separation: A sword or shield of whom? an analysis of the principle on separation of church and state

Date of Publication


Document Type

Bachelor's Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Commerce Major in Legal Management

Subject Categories

Commercial Law


Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business


Commercial Law

Thesis Adviser

Ryan Jeremiah D. Quan

Defense Panel Chair

Jocelyn P. Cruz

Defense Panel Member

James Keith C.Heffron
Edward P. Chico


Separation of Church and State shall be inviolable. This provision explicitly stated in the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines should be taken literally. Though it may not have a precise definition, it is meant to separate the church and the State from each other. It is a wall that delineates their respective boundaries and territories that are not supposed to be encroach by one another. It is a policy that prohibits the States from interviewing in Church's affairs and vice-versa.

During the construction of the present constitution, the framers deliberated on whether the provision on separation of Church and State shall be amended. They delivered their respective commentaries regarding the matter and dispersedly voiced out their objectives for the provision. They intended it to bring balance on the two institutions and to provide a breathing space for one another and respect for their respective jurisdictions.

The 1987 Constitutions embodies legal provisions that enshrines and promotes the provision on separation of Church and State. These legal provisions are supposed to keep the two institutions away from one another but apparently it turned the other way around. It shrunk the distance between the Church and the State that even resulted to a certain level of entanglement halfway of them. Even the jurisprudence will regard to these legal provisions played down the distance supposed to be kept by one against the other.

The balance and the distance that were supposed to be observed are not being done. The sphere of influence of the Church is burgeoning over the State's political realm. It should be suppressed or be brought back to its normal circle.

The Church's actions that oversteps in the area of interest of the State are based on their constitutional rights. It is irrefutable that constitutional rights supersede the policy of separation of the institutions. Hence, a law prohibiting their actions would only be struck down and be declared as unconstitutional.

The religious accommodation used by our Supreme Court when deciding a case based on right to religion is favorable to the Church. Based on a survey of jurisprudence regarding the accommodation, it mostly favored the Church and thus made their sphere flourished. A change on accommodation would also be improbable for it is contrary to the explicit recognition of religion intended by the 1987 framers in the present Constitution.

It is already upheld that the Church is already stepping outside their territory and thus encroaching on the State's matters.

In order to bring balance between the two institutions without transgressing any law or rights, the State should also have their realm extended unto the Church whenever their duties call forth for an aid of secular purpose.

To justify the secular efforts of the State that might advance or inhibit a certain religious sect or denominations, the excessive government entanglement part of the Lemon Test should be enacted. It is this test that is used in American jurisprudence that brought balance and distance between the Church and the State in United States. Through this test, the Church cannot question the secular aid provided by the State in a certain religious sect. Through this test, the State will be able to do their duties without being impeded by the Church. Through this test, balance and distance between the State and Church in the Philippines will be brought back.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F, Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

65, [4 unnumbered] leaves

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