The following enabling laws created DAP and provided the institution with certain mandates:
- Presidential Decree No. 205, dated June 7, 1973, created DAP and provided for its original Charter
- Presidential Decree No. 1061, dated December 9, 1976, which included an additional member in the DAP Board of Trustees
- Executive Order 288, dated July 25, 1987, which reorganized the DAP Board of Trustees into its present composition
Note the Presidential Decrees have the force of law since there was no legislature at that time and that the President of the Philippines exercised both executive and legislative functions. Executive Order 288 also had the force of law because it was done under the Freedom Constitution when the President of the Philippines exercised both executive and legislative functions for a short period of time.