Showing posts with label bangko sentral ng pilipinas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bangko sentral ng pilipinas. Show all posts

New Rizal 1-Piso now in circulation

New Jose Rizal one-peso coins the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas minted to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of the country’s national hero have begun circulating through the financial system.

The coins are of the same size and weight as the one-peso coin now in circulation —24 millimeters in diameter at 5.35 grams. On the side of Rizal's portrait is etched "150 years" and "1861-2011".

On the face of the grayish, nickel-plated coin is the portrait of Rizal, with the words “150 years,” “Republika ng Pilipinas,” and the years “1861-2011” etched on it. The reverse side carries the new BSP seal, “1-piso,” and “2011”.

The new Rizal coin still inherits the qualities of the previously minted 1-Piso coin which is magnetic. This is in relation to the government's counter smuggling policy where 1-Piso were being smuggled to China for its metal content especially copper.

The new coin is the latest legal tender issued by the BSP, which has been replacing its old set of banknotes and coins with the "New Generation" currency series

But unlike the new paper bills, which were found to contain various inaccuracies in their depiction of Philippine wildlife and geography, the new Rizal coin has so far met no serious criticism from the general public. Some are asking, however, why they were issued towards the end of the 150-year celebrations and not, say, on Rizal's 150 birthday itself, June 19.

Others have questioned why Rizal adorns a low-value coin. But lower denominations are usually thought to signify greater stature because of their wider circulation. There was a ripple of controversy some years ago when Emilio Aguinaldo replaced Andres Bonifacio on the five-peso currency. Bonifacio's visage now shares the ten-peso coin with Apolinario Mabini's, which some may think is a step down for the father of the Katipunan, who was executed in a power struggle with Aguinaldo.

BSP spokesperson Fe M. Dela Cruz told GMA News Online that as soon as word got out that the new coins were going to be issued, the central bank got a flood of inquiries and requests for allocations.

Banknotes and coins: The 'calling cards of the nation

Money talk brings about certain moods. We get sad and irritated when there's a lack of it, giddy when we receive crisp bills as "pamasko," proud with a glint in the eye when we have too much of it, and always frustrated when the bills have to be paid.

But during the Jose Rizal Lecture at the 2011 Philippine PEN (Poets and Playwrights, Essayists, and Novelists) Conference, historian and author Ambeth Ocampo made his audience smile without throwing cash at them, instead making them ponder about how our banknotes—the "common, everyday things" we fish out of wallets and pockets—speak about us Filipinos.

Ocampo, considered an "expert" on all things Rizal, called bills and coins "calling cards of a country."

"They tell a story, they're an official view of history," he said at the conference held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last December 2. "But banknotes are such common, everyday objects that we don't notice them."

When we do, it's to criticize, he said, noting how the New Generation bills launched last year drew flak for "faulty" designs, particularly the "geographically wrong" map of the Philippines printed at the back of the 1,000-peso bill.

Ocampo, who was "the only outsider" on the Numismatic Committee of the Bangko Sentral of the Philippines (BSP) that recommended approval of the bills, offered in good humor: "You can blame me," which he withdrew by saying "I'm always consulted but I'm never really listened to."

And while he agreed with President Benigno Aquino III, who countered criticisms by noting that you wouldn't consult a thousand-peso bill for directions, the historian pointed out that these little matters—like lost islands that you won't notice in a map at first glance—show how unsure we are of ourselves, especially in our claim over territories like the Spratlys and Sabah.

"Just to show you how different we are from Indonesia: the back of their 100,000 bill has a map. When you look at [it], the map in their money has Papua New Guinea and Malaysia in it. They actually claim it. They're very secure about themselves and what they own.

In the Philippines, not only don't we know the exact number [of our islands], we also don't put disputed territories in it," he said, adding that what goes into the map is something that "should be discussed."

Faces of heroes

Ocampo also discussed the faces that defined our currencies, which he said reflected "what we tend to think of ourselves."

He shared the pitch he made when he was first told about the BSP coming up with the new generation currency: get rid of all its current "faces," replace them with "people who are younger—no more 19th century heroes."

"And I said, 'Why don't we put artists and writers?' The Central Bank, of course, said no. They refused to look at it," he said. "It would have been a way for people to learn about their artists and their writers."

Saying that they didn't have time with the buzz of the upcoming elections, the BSP retained all the faces in the notes—save for the inclusion of former President Cory Aquino in the 500-peso bill and the removal of Gloria Arroyo at the back of the 200-peso bill.

Ocampo, who was "the only outsider" on the Numismatic Committee of the Bangko Sentral of the Philippines (BSP) that recommended approval of the bills, offered in good humor: "You can blame me," which he withdrew by saying "I'm always consulted but I'm never really listened to."

And while he agreed with President Benigno Aquino III, who countered criticisms by noting that you wouldn't consult a thousand-peso bill for directions, the historian pointed out that these little matters—like lost islands that you won't notice in a map at first glance—show how unsure we are of ourselves, especially in our claim over territories like the Spratlys and Sabah.

"Just to show you how different we are from Indonesia: the back of their 100,000 bill has a map. When you look at [it], the map in their money has Papua New Guinea and Malaysia in it. They actually claim it. They're very secure about themselves and what they own.

In the Philippines, not only don't we know the exact number [of our islands], we also don't put disputed territories in it," he said, adding that what goes into the map is something that "should be discussed."

Faces of heroes

Ocampo also discussed the faces that defined our currencies, which he said reflected "what we tend to think of ourselves."

He shared the pitch he made when he was first told about the BSP coming up with the new generation currency: get rid of all its current "faces," replace them with "people who are younger—no more 19th century heroes."

"And I said, 'Why don't we put artists and writers?' The Central Bank, of course, said no. They refused to look at it," he said. "It would have been a way for people to learn about their artists and their writers."

Saying that they didn't have time with the buzz of the upcoming elections, the BSP retained all the faces in the notes—save for the inclusion of former President Cory Aquino in the 500-peso bill and the removal of Gloria Arroyo at the back of the 200-peso bill.

Regardless of whether Rizal's presence in the one-peso coin is a step down or a mode of remembrance, Ocampo noted the result of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted early this year, which showed that "as far as the people are concerned, Rizal is their National Hero."

Ocampo noted that Rizal led "by a huge margin" of more than 80 percent. His "contender," Bonifacio, was "a far third" with only 1.9 percent.

But he said Filipinos should stop making the National Hero title such a competition among the 19th century heroes.

"Rizal, Bonifacio, Aguinaldo—they are all national heroes. It's not about asking young people 'Rizal or Bonifacio,' but telling them, 'You have two heroes. You have Rizal and Bonifacio,'" he said.

Ocampo also zoomed in on the fact that sandwiched between these 19th century figures was pound-for-pound king and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, who got 2.8 percent.

"When you look at the list of names, there's Erap (former President Joseph Estrada), FPJ (Action King and presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr.), Chiz Escudero... So you have to ask yourself, who names these heroes and why do the people consider them as such?" he added.

As his lecture came to a close, Ocampo expressed his hopes that "common things" like banknotes would "make us appreciate—or not appreciate—people."

"Later on, when you open your wallet, give it a second look and think not just about history. Ask, 'Do these bills embody what we think we are?' And maybe it should help us reflect on the nation that we want to be, the nation that we hope to be, and, more importantly, the nation that, often, we fail to be," he said. — KG/ELR,gmanewstv

BSP to introduce 100-M crisp banknotes in the coming month

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will introduce into circulation a hundred million new generation currency (NGC) banknotes in time for the Christmas holiday season when crisp peso bills are all the rage, especially with children who get money as their aguinaldo.

These peso bills will be added to the almost 300 million currency notes already in circulation. Recently, the New Generation banknote won a top international prize in a recent design competition held in Singapore.

Despite the effort of the government to familiarize the public regarding these notes, several complains are being received by the BSP including the notes unattractive design which can be considered ironic in spite of the recent award it bagged.

The public is also being warned that counterfeit money will be out again in mass this holiday. People are being to be cautious and scrutinize bills passed on to them especially those of higher denominations.

BSP Notes won top prize despite controverisies

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will introduce into circulation a hundred million new generation currency (NGC) banknotes in time for the Christmas holiday season when crisp peso bills are all the rage, especially with children who get money as their aguinaldo.

These peso bills will be added to the almost 300 million currency notes already in circulation.

The NGC banknotes recently won a finalist award for Best New Banknote Series in a conference in Singapore, despite being criticized for some errors and controversies.

Earlier this year, these notes became the subject of political and religious discussions due to the fact that some of the details were either not correct or insufficient.

Moreover, the new notes carry the slogan "PINAGPALA ANG BAYAN NA ANG DIYOS AY ANG PANGINOON" which has outraged some religious sects.

Best New Currency Feature?

The NGC version of the 500-peso and 1000-peso bills have an additional feature known as an optical variable device (OVD) patch and had won in the category of “Best New Currency Feature" — comparable to the dollar and Euro bills.

The OVD patch is a reflective foil that bears the image of BSP Logo with a parrot on the 500-peso bill and the South Sea Pearl inside a clam in the 1000-peso bill, which changes colors when the notes are rotated 90 degrees.

“The judges must have been impressed because of the beautiful combination between the security features and the design itself, and the play of colors," said BSP Vice Governor Diwa Guinigundo in an interview with Saleema Refran on GMA News TV's SONA.

The new bills were printed in France and are composed of 20 percent abaca fibers. But by the end of next year, the BSP expects to be able to print NGC banknotes here in the Philippines.

BSP boasts notes new security features

In light of the issuance of the new peso bank notes, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has called on the public to be aware of the security features added to the bills in order to easily detect counterfeits.

Speaking at the sidelines of the launch of an anti-counterfeit campaign spearheaded by the BSP in partnership with IT firm Hewlett-Packard (HP), officials said that while the new bills are expensive and difficult to reproduce, the public can still be fooled if they do not know the security features of the new bank notes.

"The BSP has invested a lot of money and effort so our money can be secure from counterfeiters," said Fe dela Cruz, the BSP's director for corporate affairs.

"But if [the people] don't know how to identify counterfeits, then our investments are useless," she added.

New security features

According to Maja Gratia Malic, manager of the currency analysis and redemption division of the BSP, previous security features are still present in the new notes but the difference can be seen—or felt, for that matter—once one touches the bills.

"Pag sinalat mo [ang bagong bills], naka-emboss iyung pangalan, for example, 'Dalawampung Piso' at yung 'Republika ng Pilipinas'," Malic said.

Dela Cruz said this was achieved through a process called "intaglio printing," which uses more ink and takes three to four days to dry, making it difficult to be copied just by anyone.

Aside from this, Malic said the security thread usually seen in the older version of the bank notes are still present, but were made larger so as to appear more visble.

"Sa halip na 1.4 millimeters lang, ginawa nating 4 millimeters, lalo na yung P100 to P1000 pesos," Malic said. "Madali itong makita, and it changes color from green to red and vice-versa."

The usual watermark which can be seen when the bill is brought up against the light is still present, but dela Cruz said they have added the watermark of the denomination as well.

"[These] were incorporated in the printing process, and is considered an indelible mark of the bank note," she added.

In addition, inscription has been placed on the bill, the lower part of which is visible as white markings in front while the upper part is represented as dark markings at the back of the bill, both of which should appear as one coherent working when brought up against a light.

The inscription, Malic said, is written in "baybayin," a pre-hispanic script used by early Filipinos. "The script means 'Filipino' when translated," she added.

Reporting counterfeits

When a person receives a suspicious bank note that appears to be counterfeited, dela Cruz said it should be taken to the bank immediately.

"The bank will then give the person an acknowledgment receipt, and the bank will forward the suspicious bill to the BSP," she said.

After determining if the note is counterfeit or not, dela Cruz said the central bank will inform the bank immediately so the note can be returned if proven original.

Dela Cruz maintained, however, that the BSP will not replace bills found to be counterfeited.

"In principle, the bill has no value, so we do not have to replace it," she stressed, adding that this is the primary reason why consumers should be vigilant about detecting counterfeit money.

"It's like [a warning]. People should be more conscious [about the security features] before accepting the money," she added.

Economic repercussions

This early, Malic said some have attempted to replicate the new version of the Philippine peso bills, but these incidents are too few and considered "negligible."

"It's not alarming, mga two or three pieces lang, at very dull and smooth ang mga itsura. It's easily recognizable and smooth to the touch, compared to the rough feel of our new notes," she added.

In general, dela Cruz said, patronizing counterfeit goods jeopardizes the operations of legitimate companies in the country.

"These companies pay taxes and wages and invest a lot of money to train their personnel," dela Cruz said. "Pag mas marami ang counterfeit, mawawalan ng trabaho ang mga tao."

Just recently, the government destroyed more than $39 million (P1.6 billion) worth of counterfeit goods consisting of fake handbags, sunglasses and pirated DVDs, among others.

Despite these intensified efforts against fake goods, the country remains on the US blacklist of intellectual property righs violators.

Initial criticism

When they were first released, the new bank notes were criticized for several geographical inaccuracies in the maps printed on the back of the new bills.

Several online observers said that the Philippine map on the P1,000-peso bill overshot the location of the Tubbataha reefs by about 300 kilometers.

Some also pointed out that the Batanas islands, the northernmost part of the country, were conspicuously absent in the map on one of the new bills.

The BSP had said that they will be correcting these inaccuracies with the next print batch, stressing that "there is nothing perfect in this world" and that they will look into public criticism.

President Benigno Aquino III, meanwhile, lashed out at critics of the new notes, saying the bills are "not a map, it's not a cartographer's sketch." — TJD, GMA News

BSP presented Jose Rizal on Philippine Currencies Since 1903 to descendants

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) pays tribute to national hero Jose Rizal, whose 150th birth anniversary is on Sunday, June 19, through an exhibition of Philippine banknotes and coins. The exhibit “Rizal in Our Midst: A Homage to Greatness” showcases the different denominations ranging from five centavos to as high as 100 pesos since 1903 where the image of Rizal or his monument appears. Today, Rizal is on one-piso coins, making him accessible to most Filipinos. About five billion one-piso coins or 30 percent of total coins are in circulation today. On June 19, BSP will launch a commemorative medal bearing Rizal’s image, his signature and his handwritten phrase “Adios Patria Adorada.” BSP will also issue special edition legal tender one-piso coins bearing Rizal’s image and the “150 years” inscription before the end of 2011. At the opening of the exhibit, BSP Gov. Amando Tetangco, Jr. (center) flanked by Monetary Board Members Alfredo Antonio and Nelly Favis-Villafuerte presented to the descendants of Rizal a framed replica of Jose Rizal banknotes, coins and commemorative medals. They are (front row): Amelia Garcia Yulo, Enrique Herbosa, Gemma Cruz-Araneta, Mia Faustmann, Atty. Ramoncita Reyes and Ismael Guerrero Cruz, Jr. (back row): Patricia Herbosa Grau, Jose Rizal Lopez, Vivencio Villaruz, Jr., Alberto Filart, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Teresita Herbosa and Carmen Cruz. The family members descended from Rizal’s brother Paciano and sisters Lucia, Saturnina, Maria, Narcisa and Olimpia.

Rizal coins and medals have been popularly produced and minted by other private organization, relgious sect or cults, educational institutions, and other foreign countries. Some medals are even treated with Godly respect and power like those of Rizalistas and other local masonic organizations.

BSP to produce Rizal's 150th Anniversary medal

During the centennial celebration of Rizal's day, the Central Bank of the Philippines minted in limited quantities 50 centavo and 1-piso coins showing two angles of Rizal's bust. The coins were produced in the United States and were made of .900 fine silver.

The mintage of both coins were just limited to just 100, 000 pieces each, and were assigned as KM 192 and 193 in the Coin Catalog.

Descendants of Dr. Jose Rizal are working with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to produce a commemorative medal in time for the national hero's 150th birth anniversary this June.

Ramoncita Reyes, great granddaughter of Saturnina Rizal, the hero's eldest sister, said the family decided to participate in the national celebration by creating a gold-plated medal.

“This commemorative medal will be produced for a limited number but it won’t be used for commercial transactions,” said Reyes.

The coin-like medal features Rizal's image on the front while the back carries his signature and “Adios, Patria Adorada”, taken from “Mi Ultimo Adios” (My Last Farewell) written before he was executed in 1896.

The reverse side also depicts sunrise, marking the time of Rizal's execution in Bagumbayan (now Luneta Park).

“'Adios, Patria Adorada' for us, relatives, does not only mean goodbye to the country. It also means he is hoping that the country would move on be well,” said Reyes.

She added the BSP is yet to announce how many Rizal commemorative medals it will produce distribute and at what price will these be sold.

Reyes, who belongs to the fourth-generation of Rizals, said she did not personally feel any extra pressure to do well in school.

“I believe every student is expected to do good in school by their parents. In our case, it's not just because we are descendants of the national hero,” she said.

Reyes, meanwhile, lamented the country's current condition. “It’s been 150 years (since he was born), but where are we now? It hasn’t changed much since he left.”

She is hoping, though, that the youth will still carry on the national hero's ideals.

“He (Rizal) would always want to mentor the youth. I hope the young generation would become more aware of his ideals just like those in foreign countries who believe in him.”

The Papal Coinage and Medals

Not known to many Filipinos, Bayani Rumbaoa is the official engraver and designer of the famous Pope John Paul II commemorative coin during the celebration of the World Youth Day held in Manila in the year 1995. The year was the second visit of the recently beatified Pope in Manila and his first as a Pope was in the year of 1981.

During the Pope’s first visit, Imelda Marcos commissioned Tupas Medal and Coin Engraver to design and engrave medals that would feature the late President’s bust, Ferdinand Marcos and that of the Pope and another medal where both busts are placed on each side of the medal.

Contrary to popular sources on the internet, Rumbaoa is not the first coin engraver of the BSP but Tupas was commissioned by the BSP prior to its establishment during the abolition of the earlier design inherited from the Commonwealth where the design of Melecio Figueroa was utilized. In 1981 at the earliest years of the BSP, the President himself ordered several medals from Tupas that would serve as pattern for the planned coins of Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas. One of those designs was exclusively ordered to commemorate the visit of Pope John Paul II.

Tupas was not new in designing and engraving the Papal medal and coin. In 1970, during the visit of Pope Paul VI, Tupas was commissioned by the Central Bank to produced medals and pattern coins for the occasion. The preferred design where the President and Pope’s bust were placed on both side of the coin was produced for general circulation and were minted both in proof and uncirculated and were struck in nickel, silver, and gold catalogue in Krause as KM 202, 202A, and 202B.

These coins were minted in Franklint Mint located in the United States where other coins of the Central Bank were also being struck at that time.

Franklin Mint was otherwise commissioned to strike the Papal coinage in 1981; these coins were the 50-piso silver coin (KM 233) and the 1500-piso gold coin.

During the last visit of Pope John Paul II in 1995, several coins were struck by different mint houses to commemorate the occasion. Some issues remain unofficial and with record of mintages still unknown. Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas officially released two (23) different of coins, the first one is struck in silver with the denomination of 100-piso (KM 264) and the second one is struck in gold with a denomination of 2500-piso (KM 266).

Pobjoy Mint of England otherwise produced two (2) coins for the occasion, they were issued in 100 and 200-piso denominations. However, these coins are very rare with mintages still unknown.

Tips on spotting genuine notes in circulation

In the booklet “Know Your Philippine Currency," the BSP advised the public to study and familiarize the characteristics, designs and distinct features of the central banknotes.

The following are some practical steps to tell genuine BSP notes:

* Feel the paper – Genuine notes are printed on a special kind of paper, which is rough when running the fingers on it. It does not glow under ultraviolet light. The watermark, security fibers, security threads and irisdescent band are included during paper manufacture.

* Examine the watermark on the unprinted portion of the note – The watermark is the silhouette of the portrait appearing on the face of the note. Sharp details of the light and shadow effect can be seen when the note is viewed against the light. The contours of the features of the silhouette are slightly raised and can be felt by running the fingers over the design of relatively new notes.

* Inspect the security fibers— Embedded red and blue visible fibers are scattered at random on both surfaces of genuine notes and can be readily picked off by means of any pointed instrument.

* View the embedded security thread—The embedded security thread is a special thread vertically implanted off the center of the note during paper manufacture. This can easily be seen when the note is viewed against the light. It appears as a broken line in 10s and 20s and straight line in 50s, 100s, 200s, 500s and 1000s.

* View the windowed security thread on the improved version of 100s, 500s and 1000s notes and the new 200s notes— The windowed security thread is a narrow security thread vertically located like stitches at the face of the note with clear text of the numerical value in repeated sequence and changes in color from magenta to green and green to magenta, depending on the angle of the view.

* Look for the irisdescent (like rainbow) band or the wide glistening gold vertical stripe with the numerical value printed in series.

* Recognize the portrait—It appears life-like, the eyes “sparkle." Shadings are formed by the fine lines that give the portrait a characteristic facial expression, which is extremely difficult to replicate.

* Check the serial number—It is composed of 1 or 2 prefix letters and 6 or 7 digits. The letters and numerals are uniform in size and thickness, evenly spaced, well aligned, and glow under the ultraviolet light. A banknote with six “0" digit serial number is a specimen note and not legal tender note.

* Scan the background/lacework design—The background designs are made up if multicolored and well defined lines. The lacework designs are composed of web-crisscrossing lines, which are continuous and traceable even at the intersection.

* Verify the vignette—The lines and dashes composing the vignette are fine, distinct and sharp; the varying color tone gives a vivid look to the picture that makes it “stand out" of the paper.

* Check the numerals found at the four corners of the front and back of the note—The numerals show the denomination of the bill.

* Recognize predominant color of each denomination: P1000 (blue), P500 (yellow), P200 (green), P100 (mauve), P50 (red), P20 (orange)

* Look for the presence of fluorescent print when the note is exposed under the ultraviolet light—The fluorescent print is the invisible numerical value located off center of the face of the note that glows when exposed to ultraviolet light.

* Verify under the lens the presence of microprinting on the denominations 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000—Microprintings are the minute and finely printed words “Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas" or Central Bank of the Philippines" located at the face or back of the note that are clearly printed and readable.

* Check the concealed value on the P500 denomination—This concealed value is located at the lower left corner of the face of the note and is recognizable when the note is held at eye level.

* Check the optically variable ink on the P1000 denomination—It changes color from green to blue or blue to green when the note is held at different angles.

When receiving a suspected counterfeit bill, people are advised not to return the note to the person who gave it, the BSP said. The central bank said remembering the person’s face and other information about him or her would be helpful.

The BSP said recipients of bogus bills should turn over these to the BSP’s Currency Analysis and Redemption Division in Room 202, Multi-Story Building, BSP Complex, Malate, Manila, or to the nearest BSP regional office. The currency analysis division can be reached at 524-7011 local 2296 and 524-2777.

DTI told to assists monitor coin hoarding activities

The Cebu Bankers Club (CBC) is currently drafting a position paper to urge the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-7) to participate in the campaign to curtail the coin shortage problem, especially within the region.

This is with regards to the proliferation of automated machines that use coins, as tokens, as this are considered as one of the factors that contribute to the declining of coin supply in the circulation, said CBC president Claro B. Cabaero.

CBC had been very active in supporting the Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP) program to prevent severe shortage of coin supply.

According to Cabaero, CBC will ask the DTI-7 to help in monitoring the hoarding of coins among automated machine operators that include the Automated Tubig Machine (ATM), Piso-Piso Internet machine, Karaoke, and even the illegal Karera machines.

In a separate earlier interview with BSP-7 office-in-charge Maria Luz Berciles, she said that the region has enough allocation of coins. However, the supply is weakened due to the existence of coin hoarders such as operators of several vending machines, and other factors.

According to Berciles, the BSP is set to manufacture new coins by 2014, thus there is an aggressive move to flush-out the coins that are being kept in the piggy-banks, and secured within the area of large community where vending machines like ATM (automated tubig machine), Piso-Piso Internet, P5 coin operated Karaoke, and the Karera machines.

Unless, these major coin hoarders will not respond to the call to flush-out of circulate the coins in the system, the Philippines is seen to face a severe environment of coin shortage, which will certainly affect the consumers.

On the other hand, BSP through its National Coin Recirculation Program, is asking the banking sector to be pro-active in its campaign for coin circulation.

BSP also urged the banking sector to provide and accept coins from retailers, individuals, NGOs, and invest in facilities that will ensure the smooth flow of coins within the economy.

“BSP continues to upgrade and expand its capacity to print our banknotes and mint our coins to cope with our growing population and economy,” said BSP director for corporate affairs Fe M. De La Paz.

She said while the use of credit cards and debit cards continues to rise, cash remains the payment of choice in the Philippine economy

The move to work closely with DTI-7 is CBC’s current primary thrust to identify the large coin hoarders. CBC will also work with the Local Government Units (LGUs) on this concern.

In a severe coin shortage scenario, the consumers can not move anymore. Scarcity of coin within the system is detrimental to daily movement of consumers, commuters, and traders.

Before, the Philippines or Cebu could experience this state, BSP-7 together with CBC are actively moving in order to maintain a healthy trading system.

As of December 2009, there were 15.6 billion pieces of coins with a total face value of P16.9 billion. About 88 percent of total coins in circulation are low-denomination coins; the 25 centavos, 10 centavos, five centavos, and one centavo.

Based on 15.6 billion coins in circulation as of December 2009 and an estimated population of 92.2 million, the ratio of coin to population is 169 coins for each Filipino.

If BSP will include the 8.7 million Filipinos working abroad, the ratio moves up to 186 per head. (FREEMAN)

New Generation Notes cause New Controversies

The already controversial note may become even more controversial as new criticism on the notes slogan “PINAGPALA ANG BAYAN NA ANG DIYOS AY ANG PANGINOON.” (Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord.)

In the February 03 episode of the 700 Club Asia, “IKAW, PERA AT AKO!” where Lito Bunag, the designer of the New Generation currency explained how the new notes differ from the previous issues. He cited that instead of the usual I.O.U.'s phrase “ANG SALAPING ITO AY UMIIRAL SA PILIPINAS AT PAMBAYAD SA LAHAT NG URI NG PAGKAKAUTANG.” the new notes now carry the phrase “PINAGPALA ANG BAYAN NA ANG DIYOS ANG PANGINOON” which is according to the program was derived from the bible itself.

Makulay, madetalye at maganda na ang bagong bihis ng ating pera. Pinabatang larawan ng mga presidente, may burdang tela galing sa iba’t-ibang sulok ng ating bansa, bagong larawan ng mga kasaysayan, bagong hayop at may anti-bacterial pa. May bago rin itong security features para maiwasan ang counterfeiting. Nakasaad din ang katagang galing ng Bibliya: “Pinagpala ang bayan na Diyos ang Panginoon.” Isang paalala ito na kapag ang Diyos ang inuna, pagpapala at himala ay susunod na. Bukod sa kulay ay marami na ang nagbago isa-isa nating busisiin.

The Philippines as a democratic country and as a nation that recognize the rights of its citizen and a country that has not openly adopted any religion to its system and who is a state separate from the church should have scrutinized the new notes prior to its release.

The current design of the New Generation notes may cause outrage from other cultural and religious groups because of the country's religious diversity. Other radical groups may otherwise fuel their ideologies capitalizing on this single phrase.

The phrase itself already undermine the separation of the Church and the State since it already violated specific provisions in our Contitution.

The 1987 Constitution states that:

Section 6: The Separation of the Church and the State shall be inviolable

Anti-Bacterial, Environment Friendly, & Economical New Notes

Recent interviews of the designer of the new Philippine banknotes Lito Bunag himself, defend that the the details of the new banknotes was not intentionally undermining important facts and empirical data. Somehow, critics have affected the decision of the BSP to release the new banknotes. New notes have never seen mass circulation and have been obtainable only through online auctions such as Ebay or directly from either banks or the Central Bank.

The errors were not directly admitted by the designer but Design Systemat President Lito Buñag said, “Bank note printing is not like printing a brochure,” as his respond to critics citing that the new bills were intended for cultural icons’ representation and were not exact renditions of reality.

If we want to make the Philippine map that specific and accurate we would have had to draw all 7,000 islands,” deputy governor Diwa Gunigundo said in a radio interview. “What we wanted to do was abstract the general location of all these important parts of the Philippines.”

“We know that as in all major undertakings, there will be questions raised, as well as very specific recommendations on how it should be,” the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) stated. “[But] We take pride in our newly-designed banknotes that honor Filipinos who played significant roles at various moments of our nation’s history as well as the world heritage sites and iconic natural wonders we are proud of as Filipinos,” it added.

Lito Bunag instead boast some exceptional features of the new notes that have incorporated nationalism and economics, concern for the environment, and new technology. Bunag enumerated the three exceptional features of the new notes. Foremost, is the material used for the production of the notes which came from indigenous materials such as abaca, a native fiber in the Philippines.

The usage of the material does not only give importance for the love of our country but for economic reason, this will also help local farmers and other concerned industry since there will be no more importation of vital components aside from the fact that BSP will definitely save a relative sum of money.

Secondly, the new notes are also environment friendly because it is made of biodegradable materials which is very important especially today that the BSP still allocates a portion of their budget for the disposal and incineration of dilapidated and torn notes.

Finally, it is also anti-bacterial which is makes it more safe for mass circulation since we all know that money is one of the major carrier of harmful bacteria and viruses.

Even though the designer of the new notes admit that the new notes have several advance features, it is not yet clear however if its have been tested compatible to vending machines and ticket dispensers.

BSP issued 200-Piso Bill Commemorating UST 400th year

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas recently unveiled a limited commemorative 200-peso (US$4.50) note and gold and silver medals to celebrate the University of Santo Tomas 400th year anniversary.


The central bank will issue 10 million legal tender notes and 400 commemorative medals with no monetary value.


The central bank will also release 400 special copies of two uncut 200-peso bills equal to P400, matching UST’s years of existence.

This [currency overprint] symbolizes BSP’s recognition of the significance of UST as an educational institution.

The Philippine Postal Corp. also unveiled commemorative postage stamps featuring key landmarks of the campus which were declared national treasures last year, like the Main Building and the Arch of the Centuries.

Elenita San Diego, manager of the postage and philatelic department of Philpost, said post offices nationwide will soon begin using the stamps.


BSP Error Notes? What's the big deal?

The newly re-designed notes have not been mostly welcomed by critics and end-users alike mainly due to aesthetic reason and technical reason otherwise. Most critics are particularly pointing-out that the new bills have wrongly written the scientific names of the animals displayed or misplaced some geographical locations in the map of the Philippines.

For example, on the 200-peso bill, the tarsier’s scientific name was written as Tarsius Syrichta instead of the correct way, Tarsius syrichta.

According to scientists, there are two errors: the scientific name was not italicized; and the second word in the name should not begin with a capital letter.

Following scientific nomenclature rules, every living species is given a two-part name, with the first part the genus name and the second part the species name or epithet.

Other wildlife featured on the bills with wrongly written scientific names: whale shark (butanding), giant trevally (maliputo), palm civet, blue-naped parrot, and south sea pearl.

Birders have also pointed out that the Blue-naped Parrot, featured on the 500-peso bill, bears the wrong colors. Experts said the beak should be red and not yellow, while the tail should be yellow and not green.

In an interview, BSP spokesperson Fe de la Cruz said some of the inaccuracies in the colors may have been a limitation of the colors in the overall design of the bill.

Dr. Merab Chan, head of the Ateneo de Manila University's biology department, explained the guidelines in writing scientific names:
The first letter of the genus or generic name should be capitalized. The rest, including the whole of specific epithet, should be written in lower case. There should be a single space between the generic name and the specific epithet.

For example: Water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis)
Use italics for generic name and specific epithet. When handwritten or using a typewriter with no italics, underline the words that should be italicized.

For example: Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi or Pithecophaga jefferyi)
Chan said a mistake made on a national currency comprised a "very big mistake" and should be corrected immediately and before the bills are circulated.

"They have to check things like that before putting it on our peso bills," she said. "They should have consulted and verified with a taxonomist first."

"I think they need to change it before they circulate the new bills," she added.

However, in an earlier interview, the BSP said it will make any necessary corrections in the next batch of bills that it will print.

"It's a work in progress, ang paggawa namin ng pera (We consider the new bills a work in progress)," de la Cruz said.

In a separate interview, BSP deputy governor Diwa Gunigundo said they will immediately correct the mistakes that can be corrected.

"Isasaayos 'yan kung may pagkakamali (We will correct the mistakes)," he said in a radio interview.
The new Philippine peso bill designs were unveiled by the BSP on December 16. The new designs featured the same heroes but used younger photos. The most notable change on the obverse (front) side of the bills was found in the 500-peso bill: the new banknotes featured both former President Corazon Aquino and her husband Senator Ninoy Aquino. Older bills only featured the former senator.

The reverse (back) sides of the bills now feature tourist sites like the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, the Banaue Rice Terraces, Taal Lake, the Mayon Volcano, Chocolate Hills, and the Tubbataha Reefs National Park.

The design of the new bills was criticized for supposedly containing errors in the geographical depiction of sites like the Tubbataha Reefs and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean Park.

The Batanes Islands, found at the country’s northernmost tip, had also been omitted from the illustration of the Philippine map found on the new bills.

De la Cruz said the Batanes Islands were not included because there was not enough space.

“Lahat ng komento ay iniipon namin, ie-evaluate at magkakaroon ng decision moving forward. Ang paggawa ng pera based sa plates, kung kailangan palitan, moving forward (We are collating and evaluating the criticisms about the new bills. Once we make the proper corrections we will implement them on the [printing] plates [for the next batch of bills to be printed.])," she said.


Paper money need not be aesthetically appealing in order to be considered proper for circulation. In the first place, money was produced without the intention of both public admiration and display but more of a simplified tool for expediting trade.

In our past especially during the time of World War 2, guerrilla notes were produced using either substandard or improvised equipment like typewriters or mimeographing machines and crude or mainly used paper like ballots, old documents, and pieces of old notebooks. The reasons for producing such notes was to counter Japanese economic rule by propaganda and acquire supplies from either both civilians and United States forces.

What makes some Philippine Guerilla notes unique from other notes are its simple but effective security features, which are the 3 signatures from three highest ranking officials in command of the guerrilla unit. These kind of approach are particularly exemplified in notes issued in the island of Samar.
Other guerrilla notes have either used inks that are very hard to imitate or paper ephemera which particularly made it unique. Such example is the 20 centavos Tacloban-Leyte issue which utilized old sample ballots.

In the past, the BSP circulated coins and banknotes that also had glaring mistakes on them.

In 1983, the scientific name of the Philippine eagle was wrongly minted on a 50-centavo coin deficting the Philippine Monkey-Eating eagle and the 10-centavo with the smallest fish from lake Buhi. The scientific name of the Philippine eagle is Pithecophaga jefferyi and pandaka pygmeae, but the central bank wrongly minted it as “Pithecobhaga jefferyi" and “pandaka pygmea” respectively.

Yet even though the scientific names spelling were corrected, they were not italicized as suggested by today's critics.

Other claims regarding geographical corrections should have been more retroactive, that it should have added the map of SABAH in BORNEO because the Philippines has a strong territorial claim to the island of Sabah against the government of Malaysia and setting aside otherwise the Kalayaan group of islands which is inside the Philippine territorial waters.

Personally, critics of the new notes have undermined other technical importance in favor of what they are only aware of. Money is a tool and not an ambassador of tourism. If the BSP will favor too much technicality, this piece of paper is not enough to enclosed our complicated history and and anomalous political and social structure and agenda.

The BSP's intention of printing new money is an answer to current currency wars being implemented by other powerful nations. The purpose of printing money is part of fiscal policy to ease up our debt and balance our budget. Our current notes maybe of unappealing to most of us but it is safe enough to say that it is doing its purpose.

BSP newly designed notes released

A smiling image of the late President Corazon Aquino has now joined the image of her husband, the late Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., on the new P500 bill.

The inclusion of Mrs. Aquino, mother of President Benigno Aquino III, is part of the new look given to all Philippine bank notes that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) unveiled Thursday.

President Aquino, whose signature is now on the new bank notes, led the launching in Malacañang.

"It does make me happy, as a son and as a Filipino, to have my parents on the same bank note. It is a testament to what they sacrificed for our people, and a testament to their love for our country," he said.

He pointed out a major difference between his parents and himself: "It also serves as a constant reminder for me that my parents were more fortunate than I in finding that person that made them whole and allowed them to achieve the heights that they did."

This elicited laughter from the audience.

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said the new bank notes took three years to conceptualize and print. The idea to include Mrs. Aquino on the P500 bill, however, was conceived when she passed away in August 2009.

Tetangco said the BSP decided to include Mrs. Aquino on the bank note even before President Aquino announced in September that he would seek the presidency.

All six denominations — P20, P50, P100, P200, P500, and P1,000 — have new designs and security features. Below are the new designs:


P20 bill
Obverse: Manuel L. Quezon
Reverse: Banaue Rice Terraces and a palm civet from the Cordilleras, which are famous for producing the civet cat coffee or kapeng alamid

P50 bill
Obverse: Sergio Osmeña
Reverse: Taal Lake and the Giant Trevally (locally known as Maliputo), a delicious milky fish

P100 bill
Obverse: Manuel A. Roxas
Reverse: Mayon Volcano and the "butanding" or whale shark, the world's largest fish and the main attraction of Donsol, Sorsogon

P200 bill
Obverse: Diosdado Macapagal
Reverse: Bohol's Chocolate Hills and the Philippine tarsier, one of the world's smallest primates

P500 bill
Obverse: Corazon Aquino and Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.
Reverse: Palawan's Subterranean River National Park and the blue-naped parrot, which thrives in the forests of Palawan and Mindoro

P1,000 bill
Obverse: Josefa Llanes Escoda, Vicente P. Lim, and Jose Abad Santos
Reverse: Tubbataha Reef Marine Park and the South Sea Pearl, which is produced by oysters that thrive in the South Seas of which the Sulu Sea is part

Pres. Aquino at the Presentation of the New Deigned Notes in Malacanang

The images of the national figures on the obverse side of the bills show them at a younger age. Fe Dela Cruz, director of the BSP's corporate affairs office, said in an ambush interview the youthful images were chosen because the public servants and heroes on the bank notes served the country during their prime.

The image of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo taking her oath of office after the second EDSA Revolution, which was on the reverse side of the old P200 bill, is now on the obverse side. The image, located on the lower left side, is much smaller.

The new security features of the bank notes include embossed prints, serial numbers, security fibers, watermarks, security thread, optically variable device, optically variable ink, and a see-through mark. The amount of features increase as the value of the note goes up.

The see-through mark is the word "Pilipino" written in Baybayin, a pre-Spanish Philippine writing system, which can only be seen completely when the note is viewed against the light.

A bank note's design is first conceptualized before it is drawn by an artist into a prototype banknote. Once the prototype has been approved, printing plates will be produced.

The production of bank notes consists of litho printing; intaglio printing; sheet inspection; numbering; tenning (where numbered sheets are inspected every tenth sheet to check if there are defects); and finishing which includes cutting, counting and packaging, according to the BSP.

Present during the launching were relatives of the heroes and officials shown on the bank notes.

Luli Arroyo, Mrs. Arroyo’s daughter, was present at the ceremony to represent her mother and grandfather. She and President Aquino, her mother’s political adversary, only shook hands briefly when the Arroyo family was asked to come onstage for the unveiling of the new P1,000 bill. GMA

Cory 500 bill nearing circulation

The long wait of collectors and followers of the late Cory Aquino is finally over as the government is nearing the issuance of the proposed five-hundred peso bill featuring the late president Corazon C. Aquino for circulation, a senior central bank official said.

The new legal tender secured approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) Monetary Board, the agency’s policy-making body, and Malacañang before the end of the year as part of the intended goal of the BSP to redesign our currency.

The new notes are expected to be in circulation before the year ends but special trials and special issues would become available to collectors before that date.

The BSP decided to overhaul designs of all bank notes to keep up with technological advances and to stay one step ahead of counterfeiters, Guinigundo said.

Other new bank note designs may include Philippine attractions such as the Banaue Rice Terraces, and the Underground River in Palawan, he hinted.

Currently, the front of the yellow P500 bank note features the image of Mrs. Aquino’s husband former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr.

The former senator’s assassination in 1983 triggered a series of protests that led to the EDSA 1 bloodless revolt that ousted then strongman Ferdinand Marcos from power in 1986.

Mrs. Aquino, a key figure in that revolt who sat as president until 1992, succumbed to colon cancer last August 1.

On Wednesday, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. was quoted as saying that the agency is considering honoring Mrs. Aquino by having her image on the P500 bill.

“Yes, I have asked the numismatic committee to consider the proposal to put up the portrait of former President Aquino in the P500 bill in designing our new generation currency notes," he said in a report.

The committee, led by Guinigundo, is composed of other central bank officials and historian Ambeth Ocampo as representative of the National Historical Commission.

Former BSP Governor Jaime Laya is a consultant.

Once the redesigns are complete, they will go through the Monetary Board and then sent to Malacañang for final approval.

“The notes will go to print upon approval by the President," Guindigundo said, adding that no new print has been previously rejected by a president.

Central Bank hires private printer to destroy paper money

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), who just alloted P2 billion to acquire a brand new currency printer, has been outsourcing the shredding and burning of defective security paper used for printing money to a private company located in Marikina.

Sources close to the Monetary Board, the central bank’s policy-making arm, said Monetary Board members were not informed that the Security Printing Complex (SPC), headed by assistant governor Eve Avila, has outsourced the destruction of security paper to a paper manufacturer and notebooks maker, Noah’s Paper Mills

But the same sources said even without approval, deliveries started this month and at least two BSP armoured vehicles pick up the defective security paper from SPC three times a week for disposing. It was also disclosed that a special armoured car carrying higher-valued banknotes are scheduled every Saturday.

BSP officials were alarmed that SPC did not seek Monetary Board approval to contract a private company to handle the security paper used for making currency notes. The defective security paper was bought from a Spanish papermaker in 2004 to print P100 banknotes.

The Monetary Board is composed of seven members and chaired by the BSP governor, Amando M. Tetangco Jr. who has been with the central bank for more than 30 years. The rest of the board members, with the exception of twice re-appointed Raul Boncan, took on the job only in 2005 while Ignacio Bunye, former press secretary, was appointed last year.

The Monetary Board has already ordered SPC to submit a production report to account for volume and spoilage. BSP can print up to one billion pieces of banknotes at different denominations per year.

Sources said about six percent of SPC spoilage are destroyed but Monetary Board members want to know how defective money is being disposed of.

The BSP is already mired in controversies especially in the bidding of new currency printers.

It is planning to buy a superline currency printing press. The original proposal, which was approved by the Monetary Board in 2007, was to buy two superline printers but a decision was made last month to cut the budget by half.

Because of parties pushing for a negotiated bid, which would blow up the cost by as much as P2 billion, the Monetary Board has ruled that a straight out bidding process will be done.

Once the new printer is acquired, it will replace two printing presses, bought in the 1980s. BSP’s money shredding activities are also done in the Quezon City plant

BSP considering new designs of coins and notes vs. counterfeiting

The Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas is considering to change the design of our coins and banknotes to fight the proliferation of counterfeit banknotes and coins. BSP also admit that the current designs of our notes and coins have been utilized for the past 20 years now is counterfeits have been very familiar with the these designs.

The newly designed money will feature new advantages such as for blind people and other security measures against rampant counterfeiting. According to BSP, these notes and coins will become available in 2011.

BSP mulls shift to plastic money

Plastic money may soon find its way into the wallets of Filipinos as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) considers phasing out paper bills.

Unlike the traditional paper money, plastic money is not susceptible to "wear and tear" because it has a coating that protects it from dirt and moisture. It lasts longer in circulation and is harder to counterfeit.

Paper money is made out of abaca and cotton whereas plastic money is produced from polymer substrate, which is also used in making other plastic products such as garbage bins and plumbing fittings.The BSP said it got a proposal from Australia, the first country to have a full set of circulating plastic banknotes for all denominations, regarding the shift to polymer money.

"They proposed to us to start using it and we're studying the pros and cons," BSP Deputy Governor and Officer-in-Charge Armando Suratos said.

Aside from Australia, other countries that use plastic banknotes include Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Western Samoa, and Zambia.

On the other hand, countries that issue commemorative polymer notes include China, Kuwait, and Hong Kong.

Suratos admitted that polymer notes are more durable than the country's current paper bills. It could also prevent counterfeiting as plastic money would allow banknote manufacturers to incorporate security features such as optically variable devices that are difficult to reproduce.

However, Suratos said plastic bills would be more expensive to create. "We also have to consider how people handle bills."

At present, the Philippines prints money using a fiber composite of 20 percent abaca and 80 percent cotton. Suratos explained that the use of abaca fiber was deliberate, as this was meant to support the local abaca industry.

"We make sure Philippine abaca is used, not just any material. We ask them to certify their suppliers," he said.

Meanwhile, Suratos said the BSP has phased out P5 and P10 paper bills. "We have decided that in the new denominations, there will be no more P5 and P10 bills, but in coins only."

Bangko Sentral defends special deposit accounts

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) defended its decision to keep special deposit accounts (SDA), saying it will continue paying high interest to institutional investors as long as there was demand.

This was announced on Monday by BSP deputy governor Diwa C. Guinigundo, who attempted to defuse criticism that the SDAs were making less funds available for companies.

By paying investors high interest rates, SDAs – as a monetary tool –siphoned off cash from the financial system, reducing liquidity and thereby cutting inflation risks.

There were no indications that the need for SDA facilities were on the wane, Guinigundo said.

Shuttering the SDA facility would be equivalent to a major reduction in interest rates, a move that would release more funds into the system that has already been awash in liquidity ever since the BSP cut rates in December.

Some P500 billion in liquidity has already been made available for companies and borrowers especially after the BSP imposed consecutive rate reductions and eased deposit reserve requirements.

Treasury bills have been lower than the BSP’s overnight rates, making the SDA more attractive to investors.

While T-bills – especially the benchmark 91-day debt paper – helps government raise cash for its short-term needs, investors prefer putting their money in SDAs whose interest is government guaranteed.

The BSP’s policies covering the SDA would be market-driven, depending on demand, Guinigundo said.

“If there is demand for more liquidity, banks would naturally pull out their funds from the SDA," Guinigundo pointed out. “We believe that the market continues to work as a signaling device so we keep an eye on that before moving anything."

For his part, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said that releasing funds into the system makes cheap money available, allowing economic activities in the country to continue. - GMANews.TV