Penalty for coin hoarding sought

A Filipino student prepares sets of 25 centavo coins during an attempt to establish a new Guinness World Record for the longest line of single-denominated coins at the Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines, 30 November 2011. Organizers are aiming to line up at least 5 million pieces of 25 centavo coins in a line which is estimated to measure up to 70 kilometers. The current world record is held by a community in Fort Scott, Kansas, US, where they lined up 3.4 million pieces of 1 cent coins for a total of 64.88 kilometers in 2008. EPA/DENNIS M. SABANGAN

Manila, Philippines --- The unscrupulous hoarding of coins will be penalized once a bill filed at the House of Representatives is enacted into law.

In filing House Bill 1662, Iloilo Rep. Jerry Trenas expressed concern that such practice "is tantamount to economic sabotage, and is creating an artificial shortage of coins."

"The bill seeks to maintain the stability of the Philippine currency by discouraging private hoarding of coins and by encouraging the people to deposit their money in banking institutions. It aims to re-circulate the hoarded Philippine legal tender coins collected and kept by syndicates currently hoarding coins with impunity in the Philippines, which are in turn smelted and converted into another materials of various industrial uses," Trenas said.

Under HB 1662, which once enacted will be known as the "Anti-Hoarding of Philippine Legal Tender Coins Act of 2013," violators face a penalty of eight years imprisonment and a fine not exceeding P300,000.

If the offender is a corporation, partnership or association, the penalty shall be imposed upon its president, managing director, managing partner, managers, or person charged with the administration, the bill said.

"In all cases, the coins hoarded shall be confiscated and forfeited in favor of the government," Trenas said.