BSP unveils new coin, bills

THE new P5-coin bearing Andres Bonifacio’s image has arrived in Cebu.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) forwarded to its Cebu regional office 150,000 pieces of the new P5-coin, cumulatively valued at P750,000 last Dec. 12.

The new design forms part of the New Generation Currency (NGC) coin series. Bonifacio, hailed as the Father of the Philippine Revolution, replaced General Emilio Aguinaldo, the first President of the Philippines, whose image has been minted on a P5-coin since 1991.

The reverse of the new coin features a Philippine plant called “Tayabak” and the BSP logo.

Prior to Aguinaldo, from 1975-1982, it was former President Ferdinand Marcos’ profile that occupied the P5-coin in line with the “Ang Bagong Lipunan” series.

While this received praise from some netizens, others reacted to the new P5 coin, saying it is closely similar to the P1 coin.

“It’s so small. We can easily be tricked,” said entrepreneur Iren Licera, referring to the close resemblance of the new P5 coin and P1.

BSP Cebu Director Leonides Sumbi reported the same concern has been raised in the central office. Further, she said the BSP is also slated to release a P1 coin that doesn’t closely resemble the new P5.

As the BSP is set to release a new set of coins for other denominations, the BSP official appealed to the public to circulate whatever coins that they have. She discouraged hoarding of coins.

“What will we mint if the coins are not returned to us?” she said in Cebuano.

The BSP was originally scheduled to complete the NGC coin series by 2021.

To aid the collection of coins, especially those of the smallest denominations, BSP rewards those who can return P100-worth of one centavo, five centavos, 10 centavos, and 25 centavos, with a commemorative coin from the central bank.

In addition, she also urged the public to stay cautious and “take their time” when changing their bills, especially the holiday season, when attempts of counterfeiting usually heightens.

Meanwhile, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)- Cebu reminded the public anew that they have only until Dec. 29 of this year, or eight banking days left to trade their old peso bills for new ones.

This is the third time the BSP has moved its deadline this year--from Mar. 31, to June 30 and now Dec. 29--in response to numerous requests from the public. The replacement or exchange of old bills will be processed without charge at the BSP Cash Department, regional offices and branches.

Sumbi disclosed that BSP Cebu was able to swap old-generation bills called New Design Series (NDS) for New Generation Currency (NGC) worth P20.3 million from Oct. 30 to Dec. 15 this year.

She expects the figure to double approaching Dec. 29.

“I urge the public to no longer wait for the deadline to have their old bills exchanged because we aren’t sure if there would be another extension,” said Sumbi.

She said that the BSP established a new deadline after learning that there are still several who come to BSP regional offices to have their old banknotes exchanged.

The BSP Cebu office accepts banknotes exchange or replacement between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

To save time and effort, Sumbi advised those in the countryside to go to the nearest Land Bank of the Philippines or Development Bank of the Philippines branch to have their old bills replaced.

Most forget that they have some bills stashed in their homes.

Overseas Filipino workers who don’t have access to information abroad and have kept their old banknotes, and tourists are among those who also come to their office for old bill replacement.

After the deadline, the NDS bills lose their value and can no longer be exchanged. The NDS banknotes launched in 1985 was succeeded by NGC banknotes series issued on Dec. 2010.

Enhanced design BSP Cebu yesterday also unveiled the enhanced design of the new NGC banknotes.

Of all the bills, the P200 NGC banknote had the most significant changes. It deleted the image of the opening of the Malolos Congress and replaced it with an image depicting the declaration of Philippine Independence.

As for the P50 bill, the enhanced design included the additional text “Leyte Landing October 1944” from the existing “Leyte Landing”.

The BSP likewise deleted the image of the Order of Lakandula Medal and the phrase “Medal of Honor” in the obverse side of the P1,000 banknote.

The enhanced design also cover the changes in the format (in italic form) of the scientific names in the reverse side of P20, P50, P100, P200, P500 and P1,000 bills.

It has also increased the font size of the year mark of the banknotes in the obverse side of the P20, P50, P100, P200, P500 and P1,000 bills. The enhanced banknotes now also bear the signature of the fourth BSP Governor, Nestor A. Espenilla.
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