BSP assures enough peso bills in ‘cash-heavy’ PH as holidays draw near
The country’s central bank has assured the public of enough crisp peso bills for the holiday season when demand for currency was expected to rise.
In a statement on Monday, Nov. 25, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the country’s currency supply also remains sufficient to meet the needs of a growing economy.
The BSP said while it prints Philippine currency, it also “partially outsources the production of banknotes to meet surges in currency demand.”
These outsourcing contracts adhere to “domestic procurement regulations and international competitive bidding processes,” the BSP said.
The BSP also continued to push an information campaign on proper handling of banknotes through its nationwide “Clean Note Policy.”
The campaign hoped to reduce the cost of producing currency by extending the life span of peso bills which would mean fewer new currency to print.
The BSP, its statement said, continues to invest in and upgrade “capacity for coin and banknote production.”
It said a bigger plan was to build a larger currency factory in New Clark City. in Pampanga province.
The BSP is also aiming to reduce the use of cash in financial transactions “in view of an evolving global market landscape” that is increasingly dependent on electronic payment systems.
Reducing cash use, the BSP said, would also tap into the “potential of technology in enhancing financial inclusion.”
Last week, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno told reporters that the target to reduce cash transactions had been moved up from 20 to 30 percent of all financial deals by 2020.
Asked where the Philippines stood at present, Diokno replied: “My guess is we’re now already at 30 percent.”
Diokno said initiatives through which transactions with government agencies can be paid online and through other digital means were boosting the BSP’s digital transformation program.
According to Diokno, the Philippines cannot be cashless yet by 2023 but the apps EGov Pay and QR Ph will help the country become cash-lite four years from now.
“Right now, we are cash-heavy,” he said.
Edited by TSB
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