BSP exchanges old, dirty banknotes with clean ones, promotes currency integrity during caravan in Mandaue
SARI-SARI store owner Norecris Pulvera often receives worn-out bills from her elderly neighbors in Barangay Ibabao-Estancia, Mandaue City.
Feeling compassion for them, she just accepts their bills in exchange for the goods they want to buy.
Pulvera, 36, said she just keeps the old, non-crisp bills and does not use them as change for other customers.
However, she said she is straightforward to her younger customers.
“Kon mga bata, akong ingnun nga ‘dili ko modawat og gisi,’” she said on Friday, July 7, 2023.
(If my customers are young, I tell them, “I don’t accept torn bills.”)
Pulvera was among the people who exchanged their torn, dirty banknotes and mutilated coins for brand-new banknotes and coins during the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) Piso Caravan held at the Mandaue City Public Market in Barangay Mantuyong on Friday. The activity will end on Saturday, July 8.
The BSP is also holding its Piso Caravan in other places in Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayan in the two-day period.
Pulvera exchanged 233 pieces of banknotes ranging from P20 to P100, and coins amounting to a total of P6,675.25. She intends to use the exchanged money to purchase goods for her store.
The Piso Caravan aims to encourage the public to preserve the integrity of the local currency and promote digital finance, according to Dr. Gregorio Baccay III, head of the Economic Affairs Staff of the BSP-Central Visayas.
Baccay further explained that the program also seeks to establish partnerships with currency exchange centers.
“We will remove soiled money from circulation and replace it with new, clean currency. This program promotes the establishment of partnerships with currency exchange centers, such as pawnshops, money services businesses and big malls, who will collaborate with us,” Baccay said mostly in Cebuano.
He said once partnerships are established, the public can visit these centers to exchange their mutilated or old money.
The goal is to adopt a “stakeholders approach,” which involves participation from retail establishments, particularly those that deal with a significant amount of coins such as malls, according to Baccay.
Individuals who wish to exchange their damaged money must meet three requirements set by the BSP. First, the money should retain at least 60 percent of its original surface area. Second, it should include a portion with a facsimile signature. Lastly, the security thread should not have been intentionally removed.
The mutilated money collected by the BSP will be shredded.
According to the BSP, its Piso Caravan also offers financial learning sessions on topics such as the BSP Clean Note Policy and Coin Recirculation Program, the 1,000-Piso Polymer Banknote, digital payments, and cyber hygiene practices.
The BSP said it is important that clean banknotes and coins are the ones in circulation because dirty banknotes are more difficult to authenticate, which can make it easier for counterfeiters to pass off fake bills.
The BSP also wants to ensure that the security features of its banknotes are always visible, so that people can be confident that they are genuine.
It also wants to prevent the spread of disease as dirty banknotes can harbor bacteria and other germs, which can be transferred to people who handle them.