Bangko Sentral warns public vs fake bills-A A +A
Thursday, October 24, 2013
THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has called on the public to be vigilant against possible circulation of counterfeit bills, days before the barangay elections.
In a press briefing, BSP-Tacloban branch acting deputy director Joseph Norbert David said they are also stepping up their information drive to raise public awareness on the features of genuine currency.
“During election period, our concern is the genuineness of currency. If one is doubtful about the money they receive, the first step is to go to the bank. The bank will then report to us,” David said.
The BSP said rampant vote buying activity may contribute to possible circulation of fake bills in the region, although there’s no local production of counterfeit money.
“So far, in the May 2013 national and local elections, the number of fake banknotes recovered is still normal. There were some reports about doubtful bills but it turned to be genuine,” he added.
The BSP-Tacloban branch recovers an average of five to 10 counterfeit money of multiple denominations every month coming from banks and individuals.
The bank sends fake money to the currency analysis and redemption division for further investigation.
The central bank is stepping up its information drive for the public to detect genuine banknotes and participate in stopping the circulation of fake money.
Target participants are representatives from the local government units, rural and commercial banks, pawnshop owners, remittance agents, and money changers.
“Our discussion has been focused on the features of genuine notes instead of telling people what the fake money looks like because manufacturers could easily change features of counterfeit bills,” David said.
BSP has been implementing a clean note program that encourages people to exchange unfit or dirty banknotes in exchange for crisp and clean money at bank branches.
The BSP’s major initiative to fight fake money circulation is changing the designs of money to guard against counterfeiters.
“By making it very difficult and costly for counterfeiters to produce exact copies of our money, we protect the integrity of our currency against criminals,” he said.
While other central banks redesign their banknotes every 10 years on average, the old currency series has been in circulation for 25 years now.
The new currency designs have been available since December 2010. The present banknotes will remain in circulation and will continue to be accepted as legal tender.
The central bank has yet to announce the end period of the old note’s validity, David said. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)