This Commission is one of
the oldest commissions existing in the Catholic Church in the Philippines today. When the Catholic Welfare Organization was established in 1945 to become the official organization of the Philippine Hierarchy, six
episcopal commissions were established: the Commissions on Catechetical Texts, Catholic Action, Education and Religious Instruction, Social Action and Missions, and the Legion of Decency.
On January 31, 1968, the CWO
became the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). According to its Constitution and By-laws, the functions of the Episcopal Commission on Mission are to promote missionary activity in the country, to
promote the activities of the Pontifical Missionary Societies (PMS) operating worldwide, and to recommend to the CBCP measures on the implementation of the Vatican decree "Ad Gentes" for fostering Church
Throughout the years the ECM has been working closely with the Pontifical Missionary Societies whose principal aim is to promote a universal missionary spirit in the hearts of the People of God.
The PMS is a single institution with four branches: 1) the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith founded in Lyons, France in 1822; 2) the Pontifical Missionary Society of the Holy Child founded at Nancy in
France in 1842; 3) the Pontifical Society of St. Peter of Caen, France, founded 1889; and 4) the Pontifical Mission Union founded in Italy in 1916.
In 1994 the National Mission Council was formed to help the ECM
formulate statutes on missionary activities, and enforce these in the different regions and dioceses. It was also to serve as a bridge between the PMS and the dioceses insofar as mission work was concerned. The NMC was
to support the PMS and give priority to its projects.
Also in 1994, the CBCP, through the Episcopal Commission on Missions, requested the Episcopal Commissions on Education and Seminaries to encourage schools to give
more missionary orientation in their curricula. This has resulted in the production of the Mission Syllabi to be used in all levels of Catholic education in the country.
Every year the National Director of the
Parochial Mission Council, the parochial implementing arm of the ECM, calls for a National Mission Assembly which sponsors seminars and talks to students in connection with mission education.