HISTORY OF THE POC
It may be said that organized sports was introduced in the Philippines during the American occupation with the formation of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation (PAAF) in January 1911 with then Governor General William Cameron Forbes as the founding President. In 1913, the country hosted the inaugural Far Eastern Olympics which was subsequently renamed Far Eastern Championship Games (or simply Far Eastern Games) after the International Olympic Committee President Baron Pierre de Coubertin suggested the word Olympics be dropped. China, Japan and the Philippines competed in the first Far Eastern Games organized by the PAAF.
The Far Eastern Oympic Association was established September 1911 to prepare the Far Eastern Olympics with Governor General Forbes as head. FEOA which became Far Eastern Athletic Association in 1915 was the precursor of the Asian Games Federation, now the Olympic Council of Asia. In the same vein, the Asian Games grew out of the Far Eastern Games.
The IOC recognized in 1929 the PAAF as the National Olympic Committee in the Philippines after swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso won for the Philippines its first Olympic medal—a bronze in 200 meters breaststroke—in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1928. The first Filipino Olympian was David Nepomuceno who saw action in the Athletics’ the 100 meters and 200m in Paris, France in 1924. The first Filipino President of the PAAF was President Manuel L. Quezon. He held the position from 1916 until 1935. The successors of President Quezon were:
- Jorge B. Vargas (1936-1955)
- Antonio de las Alas (1956-1968)
- Felipe Monserrat (1969-1970)
- Ambrosio Padilla (1970-1976)
In 1975, the name Philippine Olympic Committee was adopted after the creation Department of Youth and Sports Development that effectively abolished the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation. Since then, official representation to international multi-sports competitions under the patronage of the IOC were under the Philippine Olympic Committee.
The POC Presidents succeeding Padilla were:
- Nereo Andolong (1977-1980)
- Julian Malonso (1980 provisional)
- Michael M. Keon (1981-1984)
- Jose C. Sering (1985-1992)
- Rene Cruz (1993-1996)
- Cristina Ramos-Jalasco (1997-April 1999)
- Celso L. Dayrit (May 1999-2004)
- Jose S. Cojuangco Jr. (Jan 2005-present)
The first Filipino member of the IOC was Jorge B. Vargas. He was inducted to the IOC in 1936 together with Avery Brundage who became the fifth IOC President in 1952. Vargas held the position until his death in 1980. The current IOC member in the Philippines, Francisco Elizalde, was elected to his post in 1985. Between 1980 and 1985, there was no IOC representative in the Philippines.
Currently, the Philippine Olympic Committee accredits the members of the Philippine Delegation to the Olympic Games, Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games. Other than the above stated Games under the patronage of the IOC, the different NSAs under the umbrella of the POC also actively participate in their respective international federation's (IFs) World Championships and other multi-sports competitions such as the World Games, University Games, and others.