BSP to issue 500M pieces of P1,000 polymer banknote

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THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is releasing 500 million pieces of the smarter, cleaner, and stronger P1,000 polymer banknotes for initial public circulation.

The release of new banknotes started last April 2022, and it will end in June 2023.

The BSP has so far delivered 10 million pieces of plastic bills to banks since April 2022, equivalent to 0.7 percent of the estimated total volume of old P1,000 banknotes in circulation. The new banknotes are under test circulation.

In a press briefing Tuesday, July 5, 2022, Anna Clara Oville, director of BSP Visayas Regional Office, said the delivery of the remaining 490 million pieces of polymer banknotes will start from October 2022 to June 2023.

Its issuance is complemented with targeted technical training for banks, machine suppliers, and cash-in-transit service providers in handling these bills.

“Last April 2022, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas began the circulation of the new P1,000 polymer banknotes. The introduction of this polymer banknotes is part of the BSP’s continuous improvement of the country’s banknotes in line with the global best practices,” Oville said.

The new bills will initially be available through over-the-counter transactions. Banks, on the other hand, are working already on the availability of these plastic bills in automated teller machines.

Oville cited the recent public concerns such as the pandemic, counterfeiting, and the increasing scarcity of inputs push the BSP to enhance the banknotes from paper to polymer substrate which is known worldwide to be more durable, cost-effective, hygienic, difficult to counterfeit, and sustainable. It is expected to last at least 2.5 to 5 times longer than paper banknotes.

Features

The polymer banknotes have enhanced designs. On the obverse side of the banknote, it features the Philippine eagle, a vertically aligned value panel with rolling bar effect, small clear window with embossed sampaguita image, five highly embossed dots as tactile feature for the visually challenged, vertical clear window bearing optically variable devices such as the 3D denomination, and a shadow thread for both sides respectively.

On the reverse side, images of South Sea Pearl, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, and the T’nalak weave design are included. It has the same size and color as the New Generation Currency for smooth transition.

The banknotes are smarter in a way that they have detailed images and sophisticated security features embedded so they could not be counterfeited. Printing these banknotes has smaller carbon footprint, lower water and energy usage, BSP said.

“BSP has the exclusive issue power. With that power, BSP continuously make enhancement of our banknotes and coins to preserve the integrity of our currency,” said Hazel Josephine Cultura, bank officer IV of BSP.

Furthermore, Cultura said polymer banknotes are cleaner than paper because they have smoother and non-absorptive surfaces, making them more resistant to water, oil and dirt.

Cultura said people can easily wipe the dirt or writings off the polymer banknotes.

The bank officer, however, reminded the public that all banknotes, either polymer or not, must be treated the same way—they must not be excessively folded and crumpled; must not be defaced, write on, or marked; must not be torn, cut, or poked; must not be stapled.

Gregorio Baccay III, bank officer V, said that people seeking to exchange their mutilated banknotes should secure proof to verify whether it was intentional mutilation or not. Baccay clarified that willful mutilation is not qualified for banknote redemption.

In 2010, BSP released the new generation currency. The BSP then made enhancements on bills from P50 to 1,000 in 2019.

The P1000 has been chosen to be the first polymer banknote among other denominations as it is the most circulated currency in the country and it is also the most counterfeited denomination in 2021. (Jeanie Mea Pitor, CNU intern)

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