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 Olympic 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.
In 1929 the IOC recognized 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 the 200 meters breaststroke at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. The first Filipino Olympian, however, was David Nepomuceno who saw action in Athletics in the 100m and 200m sprints in the 1924 Paris Games. 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 of the 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 have been 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 IOC member in the Philippines, Francisco Elizalde, was elected to his post in 1985 until 2013. He received the Olympic Order award given by then IOC President Jacque Rogge in 2012. He is now an Honorary IOC member. In 2013, Mikaela Cojuangco-Jaworski was nominated and elected by the IOC as a member of the governing body. She holds now the current position of IOC Representative to 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, Asian Beach Games, and Asian Indoor Games.
We, the National Olympic Committee of the Philippines, an organization belonging to the Olympic Movement, duly represented by the undersigned, hereby undertake to respect the provisions of the Olympic Charter and the World Anti-Doping Code and to abide by the decisions of the IOC.
We, undertake, in accordance with our mission and role at national level, to participate in actions to promote peace and to promote women in sport. We also undertake to support and encourage the promotion of sports ethics, to fight against doping and to demonstrate a responsible concern for environmental issues.