P20, new P5 coins launched by BSP: ‘More durable, makes sense’
After its current coins got bad reviews for being too difficult to distinguish from one another, the Philippine central bank unveiled on Tuesday (Dec. 17) a new coin series which it promises to be easier to use and more cost efficient to produce.
In a press briefing, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Benjamin Diokno announced that the P20 bill — the most commonly used denomination for day to day transactions — will henceforth be phased out gradually in favor of a new P20 coin.
He explained that the decision to shift to a P20 coin was reached after repeated studies that showed how rapidly the P20 bills would deteriorate, especially when used in wet markets around the country.
“There are P20 banknotes that were only issued this year, bearing my signature, that have come back to us soiled or torn after only three months,” he said. “So replacing this with a coin, which is more durable, makes sense.”
Diokno explained that it costs P2 to manufacture a single P20 bill, which will last anywhere between three to six months, given its average turnover for transactions. In contrast, minting a single P20 coin will cost P10, but will last up to 15 years.
According to a study by the University of the Philippines, the P20 banknote is the most used denomination for payments across the country. As a result, it is easily rendered unfit for circulation and returned to the BSP for replacement.
The new P20 New Generation Currency coin shall coexist as legal tender with the currently-circulating P20 banknote, which will be removed from circulation through natural attrition.
Diokno explained that the new coin retains major elements of the P20 banknote. The coin’s front side features Manuel L. Quezon, the first president of the Philippine Commonwealth who advocated the adoption of the national language, created the National Economic Council, and worked ardently for Philippine independence.
Its reverse side shows the BSP logo and the Malacañan Palace, the official residence of the Philippine President. Manuel L. Quezon was the first Philippine president to occupy it in his term.
Consistent with the New Generation Currency coin series, which highlights native flora, the P20 coin showcases the nilad, the plant from which the name of the country’s capital, Manila, is believed to have originated.
Likewise, the nilad’s star-shaped flowers were said to be once clustered in abundance along the banks of the Pasig River where the Malacañan Palace is located.
The central bank pointed out that the bi-color P20 coin is easily distinguishable from other coins in the series. It is also highly secure, as it has microprints and an identifiable edge to deter counterfeiting.
On Tuesday, the central bank also released the enhanced P5 coin with nine sides to make it more distinct from other denominations in the current coin series.
The P5 coin also retains the design elements of the current round coin, with Andres Bonifacio, the father of the Katipunan, on the front side and the tayabak plant, on the reverse. It also retains the security features of the round coin, including the microprints “Republika ng Pilipinas” and “Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.”
The design of the country’s newest coins was approved by the President.
The central bank appealed to the public to properly use and recirculate the coins for their economic and cultural value.
“Aside from the economic value as payment for goods and services, coins play a significant role in a nation’s history, “ Diokno said.
“Coins also reflect a country’s cultures and traditions, and are powerful tools of communication and identification as a nation,” he added.
Edited by TSB
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