ANGELES CITY -- The government-sanctioned small-time lottery and church donations are the leading causes of the perceived coin shortage, said an official of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) recently.

A consultative meeting on the perceived or artificial coin shortage was held last week.

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“There are sectors that have been concentrating a huge number of coins. This is causing an over concentration of coins in one area creating a lack in another. There is also the sector of malls and supermarkets and, of course, small piggy banks at home,” said Managing Director Pedro Tordilla Jr. of BSP’s Regional Monetary Affairs Sub-Sector.

Tordilla said the BSP has issued almost P3 billion pieces of coins.  However, due to the over concentration in certain sectors, there has been a perceived shortage of coins.  

To address the issue, Tordilla is calling on small-time lottery operators, local government units and other sectors with over concentration of coins to re-issue the coins back into circulation.

Tordilla has also urged the people who keep their coins in piggy banks, churches, charitable institutions and other business establishments to use their coins to avoid the shortage.

The BSP director said the government is spending millions for the manufacturing of coins.

“The BSP, through its Mint Refinery and Operations Department is spending several millions of pesos to mint fresh supply of coins. It also takes about half a year to mint new coins," the director said.

The BSP also warned the public on the illegal use of the Philippine coin. The people are also urged to report anybody involved in such unlikely activity that involves defacement, mutilation and smuggling of the coin.