MANILA, Philippines -- The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) supports proposals to have the P500 bill bear the late President Corazon Aquino, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said.
Currently, the P500 bill only carries the portrait of the late Senator Benigno ?Ninoy? Aquino Jr., the husband of the former president.
?I have asked the numismatic committee to consider the proposal to put up the portrait of former President Aquino in the 500 peso bill in designing our new-generation currency notes,? Tetangco told reporters.
The numismatic committee is composed of central bank officials led by BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo, university professor Ambeth Ocampo, and former BSP governor Jimmy Laya.
Ocampo is the representative from the National Historical Commission while Laya serves as consultant of the committee.
Asked to describe the portrait of Mrs. Aquino that the committee was considering to put on the P500 bill, Tetangco said the committee did not have any specific portrait yet but it would accept proposals.
An earlier report said the suggestion to place the portrait of the late president and democracy icon to the bill came from former Energy Secretary Vince Perez, who urged Tetangco Jr. to adopt his proposal.
The central bank chief said the move to print the portrait of Mrs. Aquino in the P500 would be part of its efforts to redesign most of, if not all, the peso bills.
The BSP earlier announced that peso notes would soon have different looks, noting that redesign work had begun. The release of the redesigned bills will be done one at a time, and will start next year, according to the BSP. The central bank estimated that the release of all redesigned bills will be completed within two years.
The central bank thought it was time to issue new designs for the peso notes as many of these were already too old, BSP Deputy Governor Amando Suratos said earlier. The new notes would also carry security features to better prevent counterfeiting, he added.
"We are also improving the security features of the notes because we have to be a step ahead of counterfeiters," Suratos was earlier quoted as saying.
Suratos did not say whether the BSP would issue new denominations, but according to sources, the BSP would probably do so.
The denomination that was most recently released was the P200 bill, which was first issued in July 11, 2002.
The BSP has stopped printing P10 bills a few years back, but has so far not demonetized it, although it has been studying whether to do so.
"Eventually, we will also redesign coins," Suratos said.