A recent study has shown that viruses such as that causing the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) can survive on plastic for three days, two days on stainless steel, cardboard for 24 hours, and copper for four hours. There is no direct study on banknotes but this SARS-CoV-2 is apparently nasty when it comes to surviving on surfaces. Banks in China were aware of this early on such that they were sterilizing banknotes through ultraviolet (UV) and heat treatments and subjecting them to "quarantine" for seven to 14 days before releasing them.
Banknotes and cons are potentially underestimated vectors for viruses, not to mention fungi and bacteria, because they are thoughtlessly circulated quickly across communities and beyond lockdown borders. So how can we sanitize money that we bring into our household?
COINS are easy to sanitize. Soak them in water with soap or detergent, rub their surfaces a bit, and you are done. Soap and detergents are designed to burst the structure of viruses and wash them away in pieces.
BANKNOTES are more tricky but the surest way is still washing them in soap or detergent. Polymer notes may be rubbed down like coins but absorbent banknotes made of paper, cotton, and other fabric will need to be soaked for a few minutes. They are designed to survive this unusual treatment but drying them will take some time. Alternatively, ironing non-polymer banknotes in high heat subjects them to surfaces in excess of 200°C and should kill viruses with a few seconds of pressing. Do not iron polymer notes as high heat can damage them.
Finally, whenever possible, use contactless payments.
False information has been circulation on social media regarding the issuance of a new set of Philippine peso bills, including a new PHP 5000 banknote. The graphic, showing poorly edited images of the supposed new bills, originated from a fake Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas page on Facebook. Despite the poor quality of the graphics, they might have been passed as concept notes and they were shared widely on Facebook.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has expressly denied the plan to issue new banknotes. Further, the public is advised to only follow the official BSP Facebook Page.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas released a video showing the full set of the New Generation Currency Coin Series with the 10-, 5-, and 1-Piso coins along with the 25-, 5-, and 1-sentimo coins.
The 10-Piso coin features Apolinario Mabini on the obverse and the kapa-kapa (Medinilla magnifica) plant on the reverse. It is also the first Philippine coin with a milled-edge lettering spelling out "Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas."
The 5-Piso coin, previously released in November 2017, features Andres Bonifacio on the obverse and the tayabak (Strongylodon macrobotrys) plant.
The 1-piso coin, features Jose Rizal and the waling-waling (Vanda sanderiana) plant.
The sentimo coins all feature a stylized Philippine flag with 3 stars and a sun. Their design only differs in the reverse. The 25-sentimo coin displays the katmon (Dillena philippinensis) flower, the 5-sentimo coin the kapal-kapal baging (Hoya pubicalyx), and the 1-sentimo coin the mangkono (Xanthostemon verdugonianus).
Notably, the 10-sentimo coin seems to have been phased out. Also, all coins are now silver in appearance which is sure to spell some trouble in differentiating similarly-sized coins.
To honor Gat Andres Bonifacio, the founder of the Katipunan on his 120th death anniversary this November 30, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released in advance the new 5 Piso coin, the first of its new Generation Currency Coins.
Notably, Bonifacio displaces Emilio Aguinaldo, the first Philippine president who is rumored to have ordered Bonifacio's execution and who once occupied the coin. Bonifacio previously appeared on the 10 peso coin alonside Apolinario Mabini, Aguinaldo's key adviser.
Just last week, BSP released limited edition 10 peso coins featuring General Antonio Luna for his 150th birth anniversary. In 2015, a popular film Heneral Luna, was critical of Aguinaldo and his cabinet.
Bonifacio last appeared on the 5 peso domination, albeit on a banknote, in the Bagong Lipunan Series. After that, he occupied the 2-peso coin and then the 10 peso banknote alongside Mabini when the 2 peso denomination was demonetized. After the 10 peso banknote was demonetized, Bonifacio appeared with Mabini on the current 10 peso coin.
Five Piso Coin
New Generation Currency
Obverse: Gat. Andres Bonifacio, "Republika ng Pilipinas", 5 Piso, year mark
Reverse: Tayabak (a Philippine endemic plant that climbs tall forest trees), logo of the Bankgo Sentral ng Pilipinas
Edge: plain (design bordered by 12-scallop)
Material: nickel, brass
Composition: 70% copper, 5.5% nickel, 24.5% zinc
Weight: 7.4 grams
Diameter: 25 mm
Release date: November 30, 2017 (Bonifacio's 120th death anniversary and his 154th birthday)