‘Perceived, not a reality’

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014


AMID calls for Filipinos to spend their coins, some sectors still think there are not enough in circulation.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) 7 Director Maria Lux Berciles there is no shortage of coins, even of lower denominations. “It is only a perception,” she added.

She said the BSP does not have problems with the coin supply but with its re-circulation as some people keep coins in piggy banks and other containers.
She pointed out, though, that coins are used to buy water in automated tubig machines and piso-piso Internet.

She said hoarding of coins of any denomination may cause artificial shortage.

“We have been doing campaigns on coin re-circulation, but it seems that keeping coins have already become our habit,” she said. “We are educating the public to use the coins because we are supposed to circulate them.”

Stores and public utility vehicles need coins to be able to give the exact change to customers.

Berciles said there is a bill pending in the Congress that seeks to penalize coin hoarders. The proposal was passed on second reading last Tuesday.

House Bill 4411, filed by Batangas Rep. Sonny Collantes, proposes an imprisonment of eight years or a fine not exceeding P300,000 for those caught hoarding coins.

Collantes is chairman of the House committee on banks and financial intermediaries.

The proponent said the bill can maintain the stability of the country's currency “as coins are being hoarded for various reasons, including smuggling for the extraction of the metallic content.”

Exempted in the bill's coverage are charitable institutions, private banks, banking and financial institutions of the government and other government agencies that hold coins as part of their official functions.

The bill seeks to mandate the BSP to draft implementing rules and regulations to determine what constitutes hoarding in terms of aggregate value, number of pieces and weight.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 29, 2014.

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