The National Office of Mass Media was established in 1966, by Bishop Gerard Mongeau, OMI, of Cotabato. He was at that time the only Philippine member of the Pontifical
Commission for Social Communications.
In 1967 the Philippine Bishops petitioned Congress for a national franchise both for radio and for television. The bill passed both houses of Congress and became a law of the land.
The Philippine Federation of Catholic Broadcasters has established, over the last thirty years, 43 Catholic radio stations and 4 television channels. Each of these stations broadcast for 18 hours each day. They
cover the Philippines. It is the largest radio network in the country.
When His Holiness Pope Paul VI visited the Philippine in 1970, the National Office of Mass Media covered the visit completely, on radio and
television, in the press, and on film.
When John Paul II came to the Philippines in 1981, the Bishops mustered all of the television equipment in the country, and all the personnel, to produce one common TV program,
throughout the Papal Visit. It was supervised by Michael Lumley, of the British Broadcasting Corporation. His services were obtained through Bishop Agnellus Andrew, OFM, of England. The beatification of Lorenzo Ruiz, at
the end of the Papal Visit, was acclaimed as the best production that had ever been done on Philippine television.
When John Paul II returned to the Philippines in 1995, the Catholic Church gathered the largest
crowd that ever met any Vicar of Christ, the largest crowd that ever attended a single Mass in one place, the largest crowd ever assembled for anything, anywhere.
During the years of Martial Law, from 1972 to
1986, the National Office of Mass Media distributed 89 mimeograph machines to Catholic editors all over the country, with paper, stencils, and ink. The destitute editors were given typewriters. This Rural Mimeo Press
was a powerful communication force, for the Catholic Church, during those 14 years.
The National Office of Mass Media published a weekly bulletin, called: The Communicator. With a circulation of 10,000 it made
such an impact that it was closed by the military in 1976. The executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Media was under house arrest for two years, was tried by the military in Camp Crame, and was eventually
The National Office of Mass Media established a network of 25 Blackboard Newspapers, in rural areas. One priest was martyred for his promotion of justice through his blackboard Newspaper – Godofredo
The peaceful revolution of EDSA, in 1986, was called by His Eminence Jaime L. Cardinal Sin, over Radio Veritas. Two million people responded. The only network which carried it was the Philippine
Federation of Catholic Broadcasters. When the new government was installed, June Keithley Castro – the voice of the Federation – was given the Medal of the Legion of Honor by President Cory Aquino. General Fidel V.
Ramos, then Chief of Staff, named June Keithley Castro as "The Commander in Chief of the People's Army."
UNDA/Asia was organized, for the continent at Cotabato in 1967. This is the international Catholic
organization for radio and television… OCIC/Asia was organized for audio-visuals and film in 1975…UCIP/Asia was organized for the press in Manila in 1976.
From November 7 through November 17—for the first time in
history—Catholic communicators from the whole continent of Asia, representing radio television, press, film and audio-visuals, met at one time, in one place, in Manila.
The Episcopal Commission on Media has organized
seminars on media awareness, and on media literacy. These seminars have given rise to a new organization called: PAME—the Philippine Association for Media Education. This has led to the introduction of special courses
on media in all of the Catholic schools.
From the seminars on media sprang a small, dynamic organization of student leaders, called: COOL-MM—Core of Leaders for Morals in Media.
The Philippine Federation of
Catholic Broadcasters produces daily radio dramas in all of the dialects, and weekly dramas for children. They conduct Bible Schools of the Air. The stations have formed their own sales arm, for economic survival.
National Office of Mass Media has produced a series of video cassettes on media awareness, and on media literacy.
Over the last 20 years, the Philippines has taken all of the satellite telecasts coming from the
Vatican—at Christmas time, at Easter time, and on special occasions like the Day of Prayer at Assisi, and the world-wide opening of the Marian Year.
Radio Veritas Asia is broadcasting to 17 different nations, in 17
different languages, over two transmitters with a power of 250,000 watts each. They are serving the Church of Silence in the continent of Asia.
The Catholic Media Awards have had a strong influence upon commercial
media in the Philippines, over the last 20 years. They have won great prestige, and are the most coveted awards in the country, because of the integrity of the judges.
The Episcopal Commission for Social
Communications has conducted training courses, regularly, for the professional Catholic communicators. Among those who have taught these courses are:
Bishop Agnellus Andres, OFM, President of the Pontifical Commission for Social Communications
Archbishop John P. Foley, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications
Father Anthony Scannel, OFM, Cap, President of UNDA/World
Sister Angela Zukowski, President of UNDA/World
Father Henk Hoekstra, Ocarm, President of OCIC/World
Father Robert White, SJ, Head of the Communication Department at the Gregorian University in Rome
Father Miles O'Brien Riley, of the Archdiocese of San Francisco
Following the instructions of the second Plenary Council of the Philippines, the Episcopal Commission for Social Communications is now concentrating on two objectives: Restore the Church of the Home and Build the
Church of the Poor.