BSP to launch in December new P20 coin to replace banknote
MANILA, Philippines — The country’s most heavily used currency denomination — the P20 banknote that is all too easily soiled and worn by frequent use in wet markets and small transactions — will officially be replaced by a coin, the central bank said on Monday.
In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the new coin would be launched in December and released into general circulation by early 2020 in response to a thorough evaluation of the usage patterns involving the current P20 banknote.
It cited a study conducted by the University of the Philippines that found that the P20 banknote “is the most-used denomination for payments across the country.”
“Because of this, the 20-piso banknote is easily rendered unfit for circulation and returned to the BSP for replacement,” it added. “As such, the issuance of a coin in lieu of a banknote is more cost efficient in terms of currency production in the long run.”
The BSP said official photographs and specifications of the new P20 coin would be presented by its governor, Benjamin Diokno, during its launch.
In a text message to the Inquirer, Diokno said the monetary authority was awaiting the final approval by President Duterte before making public the new design, which he described as “two-tone and slightly bigger than the P10 coin.”
“Nevertheless, the latest addition to the New Generation Currency coin series shall retain major elements of the 20-piso banknote,” the central bank said.
It stressed that the design and features of the new P20 coin will make it easily distinguishable from the rest of the denominations in the current coin series.
Once circulated, it will coexist with the P20 banknote as legal tender, although the banknote version will be gradually removed from circulation through natural attrition.
The BSP also announced that it would release into circulation an “enhanced” P5 coin to make it more distinct from other denominations in the current series.
“The changes were based on studies on the design, security features and specifications of the new coins,” it said.
Panned by critics
The P5 redesign comes just 18 months after the central bank released a new set of coin designs that were widely panned by critics for having a P5 coin that was easily confused in size, weight and color with the P1 coin.
According to the BSP, the current series design features enhanced aesthetics and security of the coins.
In particular, microprinted details using laser-engraving technology were included in the two highest denominated coins, the P10 and P5, which makes it difficult for these coins to be duplicated using traditional coin counterfeiting methods. —Daxim L. Lucas
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