The shared history of CRC and UA&P dates all the way back to 1967, when young Harvard trained economists Bernardo M. Villegas and Jesus P. Estanislao established the Center for Research and Communication (CRC), a think tank that catered to private sector business by analyzing developments in the business economic environment and translating them into implications for business strategy. The CRC quickly became one of the Philippines’ most important public policy research institutions.

In the 1970s, CRC began offering graduate courses, beginning with a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Economics. It added further academic offerings throughout the 1980s, and took its first steps towards being converted into a university in the 1990s. The Commission on Higher Education approved its bid to become a full university in 1995, and was given a new name: the University of Asia and the Pacific.

Non-academic research and consultancy continued under a separate entity, the Center for Research and Communication Foundation, Inc. (CRCFI), which took over the CRC name and worked alongside UA&P.

In 2010, UA&P and CRCFI relaunched the CRC as a joint project that would be one of UA&P’s hallmark centers, tasked to promote a culture of research and to help strengthen projects, data gathering, and analysis in the University.