The APO (Asian Productivity Organization) Production Unit is a government-controlled corporation as defined in Section 3, paragraph (n) of Republic Act No. 10149 signed into law by President Benigno S. Aquino III on June 6, 2011.

As defined by law, it is one of the "instrumentalities or agencies of the government which are neither corporations nor agencies integrated within the departmental framework, but vested by law with special functions or jurisdiction, endowed with some if not all corporate power, administering special funds, and enjoying operational autonomy usually through a charter…"

Genesis of the APO Production Unit

To promote economic development through mutual cooperation in the dissemination of modern productivity ideas and techniques, 8 Asia and Pacific region governments, including the Philippines was organized in Tokyo in 1961. To achieve its purpose, the Asian Productivity Organization Information Unit was established on July 12, 1967.

On June 30, 1971, the Asian Productivity Organization and the Government of the Philippines signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), mandating the Philippines to set up the APO Production Unit to take the place of the APO Productivity Organization Information Unit. This new production unit was funded by the United States Agency for International Development and the Government of the Philippines.

On June 20, 1974 Presidential Letter of Instruction (LOI) 197 was issued to the National Development Authority to represent the Philippine Government in a Memorandum of Agreement stating:

"In view of the fact that the APO Production Unit in Manila is still, basically, a unit of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), and the setting up thereof by the Philippine Government was a commitment arising out of the membership of the Government of the Philippines in the Asian Productivity Organization; that the funding received from the United States Agency for International Development (US-AID) and the Philippine Government had phased out and the APO presently finds itself unable to continue with its activities, it is necessary that an arrangement be made for the APO Production Unit to continue to function and operate without imposing additional financial burden on the part of the APO or the Government. Therefore you are hereby directed to make the APO Production Unit a self-sustaining operation. In this connection, the Unit shall be allowed and authorized, as it is hereby authorized, to solicit and accept printing jobs wish other agencies or corporations owned or controlled by, the Government…"

The present APO Production Unit was set up in June 24, 1974 through a Memorandum of Agreement between the Asian Productivity Organization based in Tokyo, Japan and the Philippine Government represented by the National Development Authority (NEDA). The agreement provided among others that the latter "…shall set up a new operation in the name of the APO Production Unit located in Manila, on a self-sustaining basis in lieu of the APO Regional Information Unit. The APO production Unit was incorporated in 1974 as a non-stock, non-profit corporation…

LOI No. 107, not having been repealed, has become part of the laws of the land. This is confirmed by Republic Act No. 10149 approved June 6, 2011 entitled "An Act to Promoted Financial Viability and Fiscal Discipline in Government-owned or controlled Corporations and to strengthen the Role of the State in is Governance and Management to Make Them More Responsive to the Needs of Public Interest and For Other Purposes." Pursuant to LOI No. 197, APO Production Unit was incorporated as a non-stock, non-profit corporation on November 21, 1974, with Securities and Exchange Commission Registration No. 58890.

On August 11, 2004, Executive Order No. 248, "Creating the Office of the Communications Director to Direct the Operations of Offices in the Public Sector Mass Media and the Public Information System of the Government, transfer and attached both the National Priming Office (NPO) and APO Production Unit to the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)

On November 7. 2006, EO No. 576, "Abolishing the Government Mass Media Group and for Other Purposes, "attached' both NPO and APO to the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS).'

On March 12, 2010, EO No. 869, "Placing the National Printing Office and the Asian Productivity Organization Production Unit under the Philippine Information Agency, yet again put NPO and APO under the PIA.

On July 30, 2010, EO No. 4, "Reorganizing and Renaming the Office of he Press Secretary as the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO; Creating the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Offices) and for Other Purposes, placed both NPO and APO under the control and supervision" of the PCOO.

Mandated by R.A. 10147, Sec. 25 of the Government Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2011, and operating under the guidelines of the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB), APO is one of the three recognized government printers that may handle the printing of accountable forms and sensitive high quality/volume printing needs of Philippine government agencies and offices.

APO has provided and continues to provide quality printing services to the government without funding support from the General Appropriation Act at costs equal to or lower than the costs of other authorized government printing agencies or any private printing organization.