In 1976 the youth ministry of
the Catholic Church in the Philippines was entrusted by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines to the Youth Committee, which then fell under the jurisdiction of the Episcopal Commission on Lay Apostolate.
The Youth Committee was then headed by Most Reverend Jose C. Sorra of Virac, Catanduanes.
In May of 1982, Bishop Sorra confirmed the appointment of Msgr. Francisco G. Tantoco, Jr. as National Youth Director. This came
at a time when many youth organizations had sprouted, such as the Student Catholic Action, Young Christian Workers, the Catholic Youth Organization all of which needed coordination and direction.
After a survey
sponsored by the Youth Committee in collaboration with the Asian Social Institute in 1984, there was a need felt for a coordinating body on a national level, to facilitate the clearing of youth activities and programs.
The result was the organization of the National Youth Coordinating Council made up of Diocesan Youth Coordinators. This body was later to become the advisory of the Episcopal Commission on Youth.
In 1986, the CBCP
finally approved what the youth leaders had been clamoring for all along the creation of a separate commission in the CBCP devoted exclusively to the youth. This was the start of the Episcopal Commission on Youth, and
it was then headed by Bishop Jose Sorra of Virac. It had an implementing arm, the National Secretariat for Youth Apostolate (NSYA), headed then by Msgr. Francisco Tantoco.
After the Commission's creation, a six-phased
program was adopted on a national level, as follows: 1) Awakening of the Youth (1987), 2) Organizing the Youth (1988), Motivating the Youth (1989), Youth Growing in Community (1990), Youth Building Community (1991) and
Youth Moving in Community (1992).
All efforts at development of the youth came to a shard focus in 1991, when the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines declared that the "youth ministry should be assured of
the fullest attention and highest priority in every way by all in the Church" (Art. 50, No. 2).
The Catholic youth organization received a great boost as the Philippines hosted the 10th
World Youth Day in January of 1995. Preparations for the special event, specially the Journey of the Jubilee Cross, kept the youth of all dioceses at a high peak of enthusiasm. And finally, Pope John Paul II's inspiring call for renewed evangelization of the youth "As the Father has sent me, so do I send you
" served as a rallying cry for Filipino Christian Youth.