The Leading Government Printer

“It is a common saying that a building is only as strong as the foundation that supports it and the pillars that sustain it. The same may be said of institutions. An institution, whether it be political or governmental, religious or industrial, is only as strong as its founders and builders have made it as lasting as its leaders or the pillars that uphold it.” – Mariano Ledesma, L.L.B., B.S.E., Bureau of Printing – Chief, Linotype Section circa 1951

The enactment of a law by the Philippine Commission known as Act No. 296, creating the Bureau of Printing formerly called Bureau of Public Printing as of November 7, 1901, marked the beginning of what has later turned out to be the pioneer of the printing industry in the Philippines. The Bureau was under several government offices, initially it was under the Department of Public Instruction, then in 1918, it was placed under the Department of Finance until its transfer in 1947 to the Office of the President and in 1958 under the Department of General Services.

During the presidency of Corazon Aquino, the Bureau which was then called the Government Printing Office by virtue of Executive Order No. 285 was merged with the printing unit of the Philippine Information Agency to form the National Printing Office (NPO) and placed under the Office of the Press Secretary, now the Presidential Communications Operations Office.

The first Director of the Bureau of Printing, the late John Sylvannus Leech, through his encouragement and guidance, the Bureau of Printing attained splendid success in mastering the art of printing and bookbinding. During his incumbency, the Apprenticeship System was inaugurated in the Bureau where young men who desired to acquire such training and experience as might be deemed necessary for the efficient performance of the duties of printer availed of such opportunity. The most fortunate of these apprentices was Mr. Pablo Lucas, the first Filipino Director of Printing, having been a deserving student of the late Director Leech even when he was still a young apprentice printer, followed the footsteps of his predecessor in managing the Bureau of Printing.

Because of the high idealism of the men responsible for its growth, and the integrity of the men behind its continued progress, the Bureau of Printing, now the National Printing Office, has forged ahead as the vanguard of one of the people’s powerful organs. The National Printing Office, as a forerunner of progress in the Philippines, will pursue its own tradition by turning out expert printers while producing at the same time the highest quality and the greatest quantity of work in the printing field.

“A productive and self-supporting institution and an economic asset to the Government” – Amado Jacinto, Bureau of Printing – Superintendent of Work

The National Printing Office, as an instrumentality of the Government is entrusted not only with the task of printing and binding as a matter of routine Government publications, public documents, the Official Gazette and other official forms (accountable forms and standard forms), all of which are absolutely necessary in the daily transactions of the different bureaus and offices, but also with the duty of helping its coordinated branches in recording in black and white all their extraordinary political, social and economic activities as well as their regular executive, legislative and judicial functions. These have to be recorded not only for the information of the public and for the sake of posterity, but also to serve as convenient guides for their future policies and actions.

The apparent humble and simple functions of the National Printing Office are quite unique. They are unique in the sense that, although serving the Government and the People silently and without pomp, yet it serves them all the year round uninterruptedly and effectively. And it is also unique in another sense, that is, that the National Printing Office, unlike other Government entities, is both productive and self-supporting.

Through the years, the National Printing Office has gained a traditional reputation of dependability and reliability as an income-providing enterprise of the Government. For over a century of its existence, the National Printing Office has never been an economic liability. On the contrary, it has always been an economic asset to the government and indirectly to the People.

Decades of serving the public through printing and supplying the Official Ballots for all types of Elections and other electoral accountable forms

Ours is a democratic system of government; and, under such a system, the term “government” is defined as a government of the people, by the people and for the people. How could we hold an election without printed forms and printed ballots?

Under Section 184 of Omnibus Election “Printing of official ballots and elections returns”, the official ballots and election returns shall be printed by the Government Printing Office and/or the Central Bank printing facilities exclusively, under the exclusive supervision and control of the Commission which shall determine and provide the necessary security measures in the printing, storage and distribution thereof.

Decades of being the exclusive printer and supplier for the official ballots and election returns, the National Printing Office has well devoted itself in serving the public, though silently, with untiring efforts and loyal cooperation to the nation. The National Printing Office, a forerunner of progress…. the Leading Government Printer.