Folded new P1,000 polymer banknote viral post forces BSP, SM to backtrack

·3 min read
Photos of a folded new P1,000 polymer banknote.
Photos of a folded new P1,000 polymer banknote. (Photo: Reylen Lopez/Facebook)

A post showing a netizen’s frustrations on the new P1,000 polymer banknotes made rounds on social media over the weekend after a popular mall refused to accept her slightly folded bill.

In a Facebook post which garnered thousands of reactions and around 78,000 shares, Reylen Lopez shared her frustration on the rule and advised the public not to keep or store their new P1,000 polymer banknotes.

(Source: Reylen Lopez/Facebook)
(Source: Reylen Lopez/Facebook)

“Don’t keep new [1,000-peso bill]! As per SM’s management, it should not have folds,” Lopez said in Filipino on the original social media post.

“I was supposed to use [the banknote] for payment, but the mall did not accept it. We were not informed beforehand. Am I the only one who doesn’t know about this,” she added.

According to Lopez, she went to a branch of SM Retail Store on Friday (July 8) at around 6:45 pm to cash in or deposit her money into her bank account.

“I already gave the transaction code to the teller [of the mall’s customer service]. I was about to pay when the teller saw that my [1,000-peso banknote] was folded,” Lopez said in an interview with

She said the teller explained to her that as per the mall’s policy, they do not accept folded P1,000 polymer bills.

Lopez clarified that the P1,000 polymer banknote that the teller refused to accept was only “slightly folded” since she placed it in a folding wallet.

In an official statement, SM Supermalls said that folded banknotes are still accepted in SM Retail Stores.

“In response to the information circulating on social media regarding the new P1000 bill, we would like to assure the public that folded bank notes are still accepted in our SM Retail Stores,” SM Supermalls said.

“Only those that are mutilated – stapled and ripped caused by [the] removal of staple wire – will be deemed unfit and not accepted. Our policy has considered the guidelines set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,” it added.

Meanwhile, the central bank backtracked on its rule on folded bills saying it will still be accepted for payment after receiving backlash from the general public.

“The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) informs the public that folded banknotes, whether paper or polymer, can still be circulated and accepted for payment. As such, retailers and banks should accept them for day-to-day payment transactions,” the statement read.

“The BSP issues this advisory to address concerns raised on social media regarding non-acceptance by some establishments of folded 1000-Piso polymer banknotes,” it added.

Currently, here are BSP’s guidelines on how to properly handle polymer banknotes:

  • Keep the bills flat: Place polymer banknotes in wallets that are long enough where the bills fit properly.

  • Keep them clean: Clean dirty or soiled polymer banknotes with a damp cloth. The surface can also be cleaned using alcohol-based sanitizers but it needs to be immediately wiped with a dry cloth afterward.

  • Use them as payment for goods and services: Do not hoard polymer banknotes. Buying or selling them at higher prices is also prohibited.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her on Twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings.

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