THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Visayas encouraged collectors and interested buyers on Monday, May 2, to purchase commemorative notes that are still available from its office.

Lawyer Leonides B. Sumbi, BSP-Visayas regional director, said the notes are still available for the public and can be used and accepted as payment, except for one note.

"We print it only once, kung mahurot na, wala na, di na makapalit," Sumbi said, referring to the available commemorative notes.

The commemoratives notes, which are intended for collection purposes, highlighted the important dates in Philippine history that are printed in each coin and bill.

Among them were the papal coin, Erap bill, English series, Filipino series, and the Ang Bagong Lipunan bill.

Sumbi said those who wish to buy the notes may contact the BSP office, which is located along Osmena Blvd. in Cebu City.

The BSP also asked the public Monday not to damage paper bills to preserve their quality and not waste production cost.

"Kay para sad dile ma-abuse ang atong notes. It takes so much money to print the bank note, with all of the security features. Naa pa tay mga security threads, OVD patch, we have embossed print. All of these cost money. So kung imo lang nang suwat-suwatan, pilit-pilitan, please, ayaw intawon," Sumbi said.

She said that tampered bills are considered to be unfit for circulation, as stated under Section 16 of Circular 829.

Circular 829 states that tampered or unfit bills are those that contain heavy creases, which break the fiber of the paper and indicate the disintegration has begun; badly soiled/contaminated and/or with writings even if it has proper life or sizing; present a limp or raglike appearance and/or it cannot sustain its upright position when held at the mid portion of one of the shorter borders.

Sumbi said the production of each bill costs from P4 to P4.50. (Elizah Marie dela Rosa, CNU Intern/Rowinmar Espinosa, USJ-R Intern/Sunnex)