The National Institutes of Health (NIH) was created on January 26, 1996 by the UP Board of Regents to strengthen the research facility of UP Manila, and serve as an institutional home of a network of researchers and research institutions.
NIH was established as a national health research center by the Philippine Government during the term of President Fidel V. Ramos. The creation was made through the "Health Research and Development Act of 1998" (Republic Act 8503) on 13 February 1998. RA 9288 or "The Newborn Screening Act of 2004" was signed into law by Pres. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo on 7 April 2004. The Institute of Human Genetics-NIH and the Newborn Screening Study Group (a coalition of many hospitals and health centers all over the country) had worked for its creation for several years.
In 2007, NIH became one of the four core agencies of the Philippine National Health Research Systems (PNHRS). PNHRS is part of a global movement, initiated by the Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED) to establish national health research systems in country setting. In the same year, NIH was designated as a Training Center for Health Research Ethics and Good Clinical Practice by the World Health Organization's Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), Strategic Initiative for Developing Capacity in Ethical Review (SIDCER), and Forum for Ethical Review Committees in Asia and the Western Pacific Region (FERCAP). In 2008, "The Newborn Hearing Screening Act" was passed into law. RA 9709 was made possible through the efforts of the Philippine National Ear Institute.