BSP: Banknotes not excessively folded still valid

·3 min read

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has clarified that folded (but not excessively folded) bills can still be accepted in any establishment in the country, but it reminded the public about proper handling of banknotes.

"Madawat lang gihapon siya bisan naay fold pero gipahimangnoan namo ang publiko sa tamang paggamit, sa tama nga pag-amping sa atong kwarta nga dili siya sulat-sulatan, dili pil-on pag ayo, dili kumoton, sunogon og uban pang panamastamas sa kadungganan sa kwartang papel o polymer," Gregorio Baccay III, acting bank officer of BSP Visayas Regional Office, said Monday, July 11, 2022.

(Folded bills can still be accepted, but we remind the public to properly handle the banknotes. One should not write on it, excessively fold, crumple, burn or other forms of mutilation.)

Baccay’s statement came after a social media user expressed frustration after his new P1,000 polymer bill was not accepted as payment in a mall because it was folded.

“Wag na po kayu mag ipon ng bagong 1k! Bawal daw i-fold o tupiin as per SM Management...Ipang babayad ko sana to, hindi nila tinanggap...Bawal daw tupiin...Hindi kami na inform. Ako lang ba hindi nakakaalam?” said Reylen Lopez in a Facebook post on July 9, 2022.

(Don’t collect the new P1,000 bill. As per mall management, it should not be folded. They did not accept it. I was not informed beforehand. Am I the only person who doesn’t know about this?)

SM Supermalls, in a statement Monday, assured the public that it still accepts the new P1,000 banknotes even if they are folded.

“In response to the information circulating on social media regarding the new P1000 bill, we would like to assure the public that folded banknotes are still accepted in our SM Retail Stores. Only those that are mutilated -- stapled and ripped caused by removal of staple wire -- will be deemed unfit and not accepted,” it said.

Baccay, in an interview with SunStar, said it turned out that people put special treatment to the polymer banknote, but this should not be the case.

He said the public overreacted and was misinformed, stressing that the rules in proper handling of polymer banknotes and the New Generation Currency are the same.

"The proper handling of the paper banknotes and the polymer banknotes are the same," he said.

He said the BSP's information dissemination on the proper handling of banknotes has been done to emphasize the "Clean Note and Coin Policy" of BSP pursuant to Presidential Decree 247, or the "Anti-Mutilation Law."

This law states that it is unlawful to willfully deface, mutilate, tear, burn or destroy the banknotes. Anyone who violates this decree shall be fined not more than P20,000 and/or imprisoned for a period of not more than five years.

Baccay said taking good care of the country’s banknotes will enable BSP to save the cost in printing.

Polymer banknotes are expected to last at least 2.5 to five times longer than paper banknotes.

With this, Baccay said it would help the government use the revenues from BSP on projects or infrastructure programs of the government.

He also encouraged the establishments and the public to deposit unfit banknotes or coins to any banks, instead of using it to purchase goods.

Unfit banknotes are those with rag-like appearances, contaminated, badly soiled and with writings.

As for mutilated banknotes, one may present it to any banks for redemption but they must present proof that it is unintentional mutilation. Otherwise, it is not qualified for redemption, said Baccay.

Mutilated banknotes are those torn parts of banknotes joined together with adhesive tape, scorched or burned, has lost all the signatures, split edgewise, the original size of the note has been reduced or lost through wear and tear or otherwise has been torn, damage, defaced or perforated through action of insects, chemicals or other causes. (Jeanie Mea Pitor, CNU intern/With LMY)

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