Pope Paul VI approved Vatican II's Conciliar Document "Dei Verbum" or Constitution on Divine Revelation On November 18, 1965. And in 1968, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) under the Episcopal Commission for the Promotion of Christian Unity organized an Episcopal Committee on the Bible with Msgr. Mario Baltazar, OP as Chairman. In 1969, Fr. Efren Rivera, OP represented the CBCP at the formal establishment of the World Catholic Federation for the Bible Apostolate (WCFBA) in Rome.
In 1972, the Catholic Bible Center was established with the blessings of the Administrative Council of CBCP. It was also the International Book Year by the United Nations. In line with the celebration, the Holy See exhorted Catholics to participate through the promotion of the Book - the Bible. Thus the first Sunday of Advent was declared as the time for the Annual Celebration of Bible Week in the Philippines.
In July 1978, the CBCP acted to have DV implemented, so it formally organized the Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA), with Fr. Efren Rivera, OP, STD as the first Executive Secretary. Bp. Cirilo Almario, DD the second ECBA Chairman was succeeded by Bp. Crisostomo Yalung, DD. Bp. Arturo M. Bastes, SVD, DD was the fourth Chairman with Fr. Oscar A. Alunday as the second ECBA Executive Secretary. The present ECBA Chairman is Bp. Pablo Virgilio S. David and Dr. Natividad B. Pagadut succeeded Fr. Oscar Alunday as the third Executive Secretary of ECBA. The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, "Dei Verbum", along with the recent exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI, ?Verbum Domini?, provide the basis for a true and genuine Biblical Renewal in the Church. Both documents are the Magna Carta of the Biblical Apostolate.
On September 29, 1979, John Paul I Biblical Center, the first and the pioneer Regional Center in the Philippines, was blessed in Vigan City, at the Immaculate Conception School of Theology. Co-founded by Fr.Ludger Feldkemper, SVD, Sr. Henrietta Sebastian, OSB, and Ms. Felicidad Perpetua Gines, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Northern Luzon (CBCNL) recognized JPIBC as the regional biblical center for Northern Luzon and Cordillera.
To date there are now twelve (12) Regional Biblical Centers spread all over the country, namely;
- John Paul I Biblical Pastoral Center (JPIBC) for Northern Luzon and Cordillera
- Pius X Biblical Center (PXBC) for Central Luzon
- St. Peter Biblical Center (SPBC) for National Capital Region
- Mary Star of Evangelization Biblical Center (MSEBC) for Manila Suffragans
- Sentro Pastoral Biblical Center (SPBC) for Southern Luzon
- Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia Biblical Center (NSDPBC) for Bicol Region
- Living Word Biblical Center (LWBC) for Eastern Visayas
- Dei Verbum Biblical Center (DVBC) for Western Visayas
- St. Jerome Biblical Center (SJBC) for Central Visayas
- Pope Paul VI Biblical Center (PPVIBC) for Mindanao
1. DADITAMA Subregional
2. CABUSTAM Subregional
3. DOPIM Subregional
4. KIDMACO Subregional
5. ZAMBALUSI Subregional
- Stella Maris Biblical Center (SMBC) for Palawan
- Pillar of Fire Biblical Center (PFBC) for the Military Ordinariate in the Philippines
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio S. David, DD
Auxiliary Bishops of San Fernando, Pampanga
Most Rev. Arturo M. Bastes, SVD, DD
Bishop of Sorsogon
4th Chairman (1999 - 2009)
Most Rev. Crisostomo A. Yalung, DD
Bishop of Antipolo
3rd Chairman (1996 - 1999)
Most Rev. Cirilo R. Almario Jr., DD
Bishop Emeritus of Malolos2nd Chairman
Msgr. Mario Baltazar, OP
Rev. Fr. Oscar A. Alunday, SVD
2nd Executive Secretary
June 1999 - July 2011
Rev. Fr. Efren River, OP, STD
1st Executive Secretary
The Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) is a pastoral commission of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) whose area of competence and service is the biblical-pastoral ministry in its five-fold ministries of:
Animating Biblical-Pastoral Formation (ABPF),
Organizing Bible Celebration (OBC),
Promoting Bible Translation (PBT),
Assisting Bible Production (ABP),
Coordinating Bible Distribution (CBD).
A Community of Disciples
nourished by the Word of God,
Witnessing to the Gospel,
and Striving to be a Church
that is poor and for the poor,
with Mary, Mother of the Word, as model.
We commit ourselves to a renewed evangelization through the
implementation of Vatican II’s Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum)
and the Plenary Council of the Philippines’ (PCP II) vision of a Church of
the Poor in our reading, studying,
praying, living, sharing and celebrating the Word of God in response to Verbum Domini's call to “animate every
pastoral activity in the Church with the Word of God”. (VD 73) .