NIH History

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the home of research and extension units of the University of the Philippines Manila (UPM), the country’s leading institution for health research and development and the Health Sciences Center of the UP System. From its creation on January 26, 1996 by the UP Board of Regents, the breadth and scope of health research that the UPM-NIH was envisioned to undertake was evident: “basic, applied, policy, product and operation types, and the application and utilization of its research findings and conclusions” (University Charter, 1972). This thrust remains consistent with the country’s vision of “Health for All.”

With the signing into law of the “Health Research and Development Act of 1998” on February 13, 1998, the NIH was established as a national health research center by the Philippine Government. This Act made the NIH the “coordinating and integrating body of existing researches in UP Manila." At that time, the NIH only had a handful of Institutes. The NIH has since grown to include 10 Institutes and 3 Centers, and at least 24 study groups, along with vital supporting units. This Act also provided for public access to research findings, facilities, and other resources of the different institutes. It gave partner agencies of NIH access to its facilities and support services (Republic Act 8503, 1998). Currently, through its various research institutes, programs, study groups, and through its network of researchers specializing in health and socio-biomedical concerns, the NIH continues to develop outputs that serve as vital guideposts in shaping national programs and policies.