Philippine Peso Coins and Banknotes

Philippine Coins and Banknotes

Error in Scientific Names on New Generation Banknotes

Aside from tourist spots, the reverse side of the New Generation Banknotes feature also feature endemic and notable animals such as the tarsier (P200) and the whale shark (P1000). Along with their common English name, the animals are also labeled by their scientific name. Unfortunately, the scientific names are wrongly written!

Scientific names are written in binomial nomenclature where the first word is the genus name whose first letter should be capitalized. The second word is the species name which should be all lower-case letters. In the case of our new banknotes, both the genus and scientific names are written with their first letters capitalized. What's more, scientific names should be italicized and they are not.

Rhincodon Typus

Rhincodon typus
The BSP should correct these mistakes or our science students would be seriously mis-educated about binomial nomenclature.

Scientific names were also ALL-CAPS in the Flora and Fauna and Improved Flora and Fauna Series of coins but this recent mistake in the still-to-be-released-banknotes are much more obvious.

Others have also previously complained about geographic errors in the new bills wherein the dot showing the location of Tubbattaha Reef in the 1000-piso bill is about 300 km off the mark.

New Generation Banknote Designs Released!

Finally! The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has released the New Generation designs of Philippine banknotes including the new 500 peso bill with both Ninoy and Cory. Here they are!

So what's new with these banknotes?
  • More realistic portraits of former Philippine presidents and heroes
  • Tourist destinations and notable animals found in the country on the reverse
  • New BSP logo and Republic of the Philippines Seal
  • New euro-like design with large numbers for easy identification.
  • Security features are spruced most noticeably the serial numbers which some might find weird and the security thread which is wider. A foil-like optically variable device is found in the new 500 and 1,000 peso bills.
  • The paper used is "hygienically treated" or has anti-bacterial properties.
What's the same?
  • Color schemes were maintained except for the 20 peso bill which I think has a different tone of orange.
  • The size of all banknotes appear to have been maintained.
  • The same paper made of abaca-cotton. The BSP considered plastic/polymer before but they might have foreseen some problems with that especially with the way Filipinos crumple, fold, crease, and roll money.
Expect the new 20 and 50 peso bills next week in time for the Christmas! The rest will probably follow next year. Don't worry, the old designs will still be valid for the next three years.

New 1000 Peso Bill - New Generation Banknotes

One Thousand Piso Banknote
Obverse: War Heroes - Josefa Llanes Escoda, Vicente P. Lim, and Jose Abad Santos; Centennial of Philippine Independence (1998); Medal of Honor; Seal of the Republic of the Philippines; and the New BSP Seal
Reverse: Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site); South Sea Pearl (Pinctada maxima), Tinalak or Ikat-dyed abaca woven in Mindanao in Southern Philippines
Security Features: (1) embossed prints, (2) serial number, (3) security fibers, (4) watermark, (5) see-through mark, (6) concealed value, (7) security thread, (8) optically variable device, (9) optically variable ink

War Heroes
Josefa Llanes Escoda (20 September 1898-January 1945) is a social worker, educator, advocate of women's right to vote; founder of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines and newspaper editor. She showed extraordinary courage by continuing to help prisoners of war during the Japanese Occupation. For this, she and her husband Antonio were killed before the end of the war.

Brigadier General Vicente P. Lim (24 February 1888 - 31 December 1944) was the first Filipino West Point graduate and rose to the rank of Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army. Initially wounded in action, he directed guerrilla activities from his hospital bed during the World War II. He was eventually captured and died in the hands of the Japanese. For his military service, he received the Legion of Merit and the Purple Heart.

Jose Abad Santos (19 February 1886 - 2 May 1942) was the Chief Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court. He completed his Bachelor of Laws degree in Northwestern University and Masters of Laws from Georgetown University as a scholar. He was executed for refusing to cooperate with the Japanese forces. Informed of his impending execution, he told his son ho had been captured with him: "It is a rare opportunity to die for one's country."

The 130,000 hectare Tubattaha Reef Marine Park in Sulu Sea is one of the Philippines' oldest ecosystems. It is home to a great diversity of marine life: whales, dolphins, sharks, and turtles are among the key species found here. The reef ecosystem supports over 350 species of coral and almost 500 species of fish. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it plays a key role in the reproduction, dispersal, and colonization by marine organisms in the whole Sulu Sea system and in helping support fisheries outside its boundaries. It is a natural laboratory for studying ecological and biological processes, displaying process of coral reef formation, and supporting marine species dependent on reef ecosystems. The presence of tiger and hammerhead sharks, which are top predator species, indicates the ecological balance of the property.
South Sea Pearls - Sulu Sea is part of the South Seas, which are the natural habitat of oysters that produce the largest pearls grown in the world - the Pinctada maxima. The colors of these treasures from the sea range from white to silver and golden.

New 500 Peso Bill - New Generation Banknotes

Five Hundred Peso Banknote
New Generation Series

Obverse: Icons of Democracy - President Corazon C. Aquino, Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. ; EDSA People Power I February 1986; Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Monument; Seal of the President; New BSP Seal
Reverse: Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site); Blue-naped Parrot (Tanygnathus lucionensis), woven cloth from Southern Philippines
Security Features: (1) embossed prints, (2) serial number, (3) security fibers, (4) watermark, (5) see-through mark, (6) concealed value, (7) security thread, (8) optically variable device

Icons of Democracy
President Corazon C. Aquino (25 January 1933 - 1 August 2009), the 11th President of the Philippines, is the first woman head of state. She assumed office following the historic non-violent People Power Revolution that toppled a dictatorship. Her major accomplishments were the restoration of democracy and the crafting of a new Constitution that limited presidential powers, established a bicameral legislature, and gave strong emphasis to civil liberties and human rights. She was married to former Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr.
Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. (27 November 1932 - 21 August 1983), stood against President Ferdinand Marcos who had declared martial law. His seven-year imprisonment under the dictatorship and assassination upon his return from exile galvanized the Filipinos to unite and oppose the dictatorship. This culminated in the peaceful People Power Revolution. The bronze memorial is in his honor in Makati City is a popular venue for holding mass movements.

The funeral processions of both President Corazon Aquino and Senator Benigno Aquino were an outpouring of national grief. Millions of people stayed on the roads for hours to pay their respects and to express their deep gratitude to the couple who dedicated their lives for the country and the Filipinos. On 30 June 2010, their only son Benigno S. Aquino III became the country's 15th President.

The eight-kilometer Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan winds through a cave that has major formations of staltactites and stalagmites that fascinate and mesmerize. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the pleace has a full mountain-to-the-sea ecosystem that is also home to rare animals such as the Philippine cockatoo and the Palawan mouse deer.

The rare Blue-naped Parrot thrives in the lush forests of Palawan and Mindoro. Parrots are known to be friendly, gentle, and intelligent.

New 200 Peso Bill - New Generation Banknotes

Two Hundred Piso Banknote
New Generation Series

Obverse: President Diosdado P. Macapagal; EDSA People Power II (January 2001); Independence House; Barasoain Church; Seal of the Republic of the Philippines; and the New BSP Seal
Reverse: Bohol Chocolate Hills; Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta); handcrafted design from the Visayas in Central Philippines
Security Features: (1) embossed prints, (2) serial number, (3) security fibers, (4) watermark, (5) see-through mark, (6) concealed value, (7) security thread

President Diosdado P. Macapagal (28 September 1910 - 21 April 1997) is known for his land reform and socio-economic agenda that started the process of economic liberalization and the shift to a market economy in the Philippines. He moved the celebration of Philippine independence from 4 July 1946 to 12 June 1898 when General Emilio Aguinaldo declared independence from Spanish colonial rule and, in the process, made the Philippines Asia's first republic. Barasoain Church in Malolos Bulacan was the venue for the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic. Aguinaldo's home in Cavite is now called the Independence House.

President Diosdado Macapagal is the father of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who assumed office as a result of the EDSA People Power II in January 2001.

The famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol are verdant green mounds during the rainy season that turn chocolate brown at the end of the dry season. Numbering about 1,268 hills, they rise to 30 to 50 meters.

The Philippine tarsier is described as one of the world's smallest primates; it can fit comfortably in one's hands. It can be found in Bohol and in Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao.

New 100 Peso Bill - New Generation Banknotes

One Hundred Piso Banknote
New Generation Series

Obverse: President Manuel A. Roxas; Central Bank of the Philippines (1949); Inauguration of the Third Republic (4 July 1946); Seal of the Republic of the Philippines; and the New BSP Seal
Reverse: Mayon Volcano; Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus); Indigenous textile from the Bicol Region
Security Features: (1) embossed prints, (2) serial number, (3) security fibers, (4) watermark, (5) see-through mark, (6) concealed value, (7) security thread

President Manuel A. Roxas (1 January 1892 - 15 April 1948) took his oath of office on 4 July 1946 as the first president of the Third Philippine Republic, when the United States recognized the independence of the Republic of the Philippines. Having inherited a nation in the ruins of World War II, he set in motion the crafting of the first Master Economic Plan, the first known in developing Asia, which started the country on the road to reconstruction and development. He thus earned the title "Nation Builder." A Philippine Bar topnotcher, he had a lifelong career as public servant. He was 27 when he became Governor of the Province of Capiz, the country's youngest, and was Speaker of the House for 12 consecutive years. One of his priorities was the drafting of a charter for a central bank, which he deemed as a step towards sovereignty. However, he did not complete his term due to a fatal heart attack. Shortly after his death, his successor President Elpidio Quirino signed Republic Act 265 or the Central Bank Act in June 1948. On 3 January 1949, the Central Bank of the Philippines opened for business.

The Bicol Region is famous for majestic Mayon Volcano, the country's most active which has a near perfect cone. It is in Legazpi City, Albay.

The "butanding" or whale shark, the world's largest living fish, is the main attraction in Donsol, Sorsogon. These gentle giants regularly visit the waters of Sorsogon to mate and to feed on plankton abundant in Donsol River.

New 50 Peso Bill - New Generation Banknotes

Fifty Piso Banknote
New Generation Series

President Sergio Osmeña; First National Assembly 1907; Leyte Landing; Seal of the Republic of the Philippines; and the New BSP Seal
Reverse: Taal Lake; Maliputo (Caranx ignobilis); embroidery design handcrafted in Batangas province
Security Features: (1) embossed prints, (2) serial number, (3) security fibers, (4) watermark, (5) see-through mark, (6) concealed value, (7) security thread

President Sergio Osmeña (9 September 1878 - 19 October 1961) is the president who led the Philippines during the critical stage nearing the end of World War II and in the transition as an independent nation. He was vice president when President Manuel Quezon passed away and was with the liberation forces led by US General Douglas McArthur in 1944, an event immortalized at a landmark monument known as the "Leyte Landing" at Palo beach in central Philippines. It was during his term when the Philippines joined the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank)

Taal Lake in Batangas is the deepest freshwater lake in the Philippines. It is also host to active Taal Volcano, the world's smallest volcano.

The Giant Trevally, locally known as Maliputo, a delicious milky fish, thrives only in the waters of the lake. Taal Lake is also the only home of tawilis, the world's only freshwater sardine.

New 20 Peso Bill - New Generation Banknotes

Twenty Piso Banknote
New Generation Series

Obverse: President Manuel L. Quezon; Filipino as National Language (1935); Malacañan Palace; Seal of the Republic of the Philippines; New BSP Seal
Reverse: Banaue Rice Terraces (UNESCO World Heritage Site); Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus philippinensis), Weave design from the Cordilleras
Security Features: (1) embossed prints, (2) serial number, (3) security fibers, (4) watermark, (5) see-through mark, (6) concealed value, (7) security thread

President Manuel L. Quezon (19 August 1978 - 1 August 1940)
Popularly known as the "Father of the National Language," Manuel L. Quezon is the second president of the Philippines and the first to be elected through a national election. He worked tirelessly to gain recognition for the Philippines as an independent nation. During his term, a national language for the Philippines was adopted and Filipino women were given the right to vote. Quezon is the first Filipino president to hold office in Malacañan Palace by the Pasig River in Manila.

The Banaue Rice Terraces in Northern Philippines were carved out of the mountains of the Cotrdilleras around 2,000 years ago by Filipino ancestors using simpe tools. Breathtaking for its high altitude, steep slopes and area covered, the Banaue Rice Terraces showcases a mastery of engineering that is appreciated to the present. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.

The palm civets in the Cordilleras are famous for producing one of the best and expensive coffee varieties in the world - Coffee Alamid. The coffee beans that they eat, partially digest, and released as droppings are prized for their flavor and aroma.

New BSP logo

I was surprised to see a new logo when I opened the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) website yesterday. The new logo is a welcome development that will go well with the new generation banknotes that we expect to see beginning the end of this year.

The new BSP logo is a perfect round shape in blue that features three gold stars and a stylized Philippine eagle rendered in white strokes. These main elements are framed on the left side with the text inscription “Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas” underscored by a gold line drawn in half circle. The right side remains open, signifying freedom, openness, and readiness of the BSP, as represented by the Philippine eagle, to soar and fly toward its goal. Putting all these elements together is a solid blue background to signify stability.

Principal Elements:

1. The Philippine Eagle, our national bird, is the world’s largest eagle and is a symbol of strength, clear vision and freedom, the qualities we aspire for as a central bank.

2. The three stars represent the three pillars of central banking: price stability, stable banking system, and a safe and reliable payments system. It may also be interpreted as a geographical representation of BSP’s equal concern for the impact of its policies and programs on all Filipinos, whether they are in Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao.

1. The blue background signifies stability.
2. The stars are rendered in gold to symbolize wisdom, wealth, idealism, and high quality.
3. The white color of the eagle and the text for BSP represents purity, neutrality, and mental clarity.

Font or Type Face
Non-serif, bold for “BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS” to suggest solidity, strength, and stability. The use of non-serif fonts characterized by clean lines portrays the no-nonsense professional manner of doing business at the BSP.

Round shape to symbolize the continuing and unending quest to become an excellent monetary authority committed to improve the quality of life of Filipinos. This round shape is also evocative of our coins, the basic units of our currency.

FAQs: BSP Banknote and Coin Redesign

The New Generation Currency Program of the Philippines

[Update: New Generation Philippine Banknotes released]

1. Why is the BSP changing the designs of our money?
As a matter of practice, central banks regularly change the designs of their money - whether coins or banknotes - to guard against counterfeiters. By making it very difficult and costly for counterfeiters to produce exact copies of our money, we protect the integrity of our currency against criminals. While other central banks redesign their banknotes every 10 years on average, our present currency series has been in place for about 25 years now.

2. How will BSP prevent the spread of counterfeit or fake money?

The BSP has upgraded the security features in all of our new generation banknotes to make it easier for the public to protect themselves from receiving fake money. The BSP will continue to mount a nationwide information campaign to educate our people on how to tell genuine banknotes from counterfeits. 3. What denominations are covered by the new designs? All of our six banknote denominations will have new designs: 20-piso, 50-piso, 100-piso, 200-piso, 500-piso, and 1,000- piso. We are starting the process of redesigning all of our coin denominations as well.4. When will the new currency be available?
The new currency designs will be available starting December 2010, nearly three years after
initial discussions on a new generation currency series started. We estimate that it will
also take about three years to develop the new generation coin series, from concept to
actual delivery of the new coins.5. Were there be changes in the size of our new banknotes?
The size of the new banknotes has been retained and will be the same as the present currency notes.

6. Will our new generation currency series be user-friendly for the public including
the visually-impaired in terms of identifying the different banknote denominations?
Yes, our new generation currency series will be user-friendly and allow easy identification of each denomination. These are our principal considerations in selecting the overall color and printing technique for our banknotes. Among others: The dominant color of each banknote denomination will be retained in the new generation currency series using distinct and primary printing inks. For instance, 20-piso will still be orange, 50-piso in red, 100-piso in violet, 200-piso in green, 500-piso in yellow, and 1,000-piso in blue. Global surveys indicate that people in general differentiate denominations by the dominant color of each banknote. The face value of the banknotes on the front side of the currency will be intaglio-printed to give an embossed feel that will help the visually-impaired differentiate each denomination. Big numerals corresponding to the denominational value are printed on both sides of the banknote.

7. What will happen to the existing currency in circulation?
The present banknotes will remain in circulation and will continue to be accepted as legal tender for at least three more years. Based on previous currency retirement or demonetization program of the BSP, this will give enough time for the public to make a full transition to our new generation currency. A separate schedule will be followed for coins. Appropriate announcements will be released before and after the introduction of our new banknotes and coins to guide the public and ensure a smooth transition to our new currency.

8. How does the BSP select new designs and security features for our new
generation currency notes?
The BSP has a Numismatic Committee that initiates the new design studies and proposes upgraded security features for consideration by its Monetary Board which in turn submits these to the President for final approval. In the case of the new generation currency, the BSP invited Filipino design groups to interpret concepts integrating icons, places and events of national, historical and cultural significance. Once the selection process was completed, the Monetary Board submitted the new design proposals for the final approval of the President of the Philippines.

9. What are the design elements of our new banknotes?

Our new banknotes pay tribute to Filipinos who played significant roles at various moments of our nation’s history. In addition, world heritage sites and iconic natural wonders of the Philippines are also proudly highlighted.

10. What are the designs elements of our new coins?

The new coins will feature our national symbols. However, the specific features have yet to be selected and finalized.

11. What are the considerations in the selection of security features for our new currency?
The BSP does research and benchmarking on security features that are available from global suppliers and are being used by other central banks. The choice of security features allow for four levels of authentication ranging from simple visual inspection to the more complex laboratory and forensic examination of suspected counterfeits. In particular, these are:Level I : Security features which can be easily recognized by the public without use of special instrument. These are the “look, feel, tilt” elements in the notes such as watermark, security thread, security fibers, and others.
Level II: Security features recognizable by professional cash handlers/bank tellers with the use of magnifying lens or ultraviolet light. Examples are fluorophosporescent features, security fibers, and microprinting.
Level III: The hidden or covert security features reserved for the use of the Bangko Sentral.
Level IV: Forensic security features for the use of law enforcers in testifying whether a banknote is genuine or counterfeit. These are detectable at specialized laboratories.

12. Is it costly to change currency designs and security features?
There are additional but relatively minimal expenses related to these. In general, the cost of changing currency design depends on the choice of security features. Newly developed features using cutting-edge technology are usually covered by Intellectual Property Rights which are more resistant to counterfeiting for a longer period and, therefore, costs a bit more. Nevertheless, the benefits far outweigh the incremental costs involved in shifting to the new designs, using new technology for its security features, and using durable abaca-reinforced paper that will incorporate the new embedded security features. 

13. Who will produce our new currency?
In accordance with global practice, the preparation of the metal plates and dies for the production of money is done by highly specialized groups called “originators.” Based on these origination materials, the BSP conducted an international open competitive bidding for the printing of the first batch of our new currency. Thus, our new generation currency will be printed initially by international currency printers. Subsequently, the BSP’s Quezon City Security Plant Complex will print our new generation currency. BSP continues to invest in SPC to upgrade and increase its printing capacity to meet the demands of our growing population and economy.

14. Why does the BSP outsource the printing of some of its currency when it has its own printing facility?
Like other central banks that print their own currency, the BSP resorts to outsourcing part of its currency requirements as a temporary stop-gap measure to meet surges in currency demand. We are in the process of acquiring additional printing equipment to keep pace with currency demand which has risen in parallel with sustained growth in our population and our economy.
We are proud that an all-Filipino team operates the BSP printing facility that meets most of the currency demand of our country. There are about 80 countries that do not have their own banknote printing facility and rely entirely on outsourcing to meet their currency requirements. Countries that outsource 100% of their currency requirements include Singapore, Finland, Brunei, Sweden, Bahrain, Peru, Luxembourg, Kenya, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, and Qatar.

15. What is the more economical option: outsourcing or printing our own currency?

As a general rule, printing of our currency at the SPC is cheaper than outsourcing finished notes. This is the reason why the BSP is investing in the continuous upgrading and modernization of our Security Plant Complex. In fact, the bidding for our new banknote printing and finishing equipment is in place. However in exceptional cases, the cost of outsourced banknotes may be lower than that of SPC-printed notes depending on the volume of order, foreign exchange rate, as well as the timing of procurement. For instance, when a foreign printer has idle printing
capacity, it may opt to quote lower-than-standard industry rates to optimize use of its facilities. Fluctuations in costs of major materials purchased through competitive bidding, such as paper,
are also influenced by the level of orders from other countries at
the time of the bidding.

16. Did we use polymer or plastic in our money like some countries?

No, we will not use plastic or polymer in the production of our banknotes. What we will use is durable paper made principally of 80% cotton and 20% abaca in support of Filipino abaca farmers. We have been using Philippine abaca as it has improved the durability and extended the life span of our banknotes. Other countries including Japan also use abaca on their banknotes. To make sure that our suppliers use Philippine abaca, we require them to submit
shipping documents that indicate the volume of abaca purchased from accredited Filipino abaca suppliers. As a matter of policy, we have made the use of Philippine abaca mandatory for suppliers of our banknote paper.

17. Why is the middle initial of the President "S"?
In a memorandum dated 17 August 2011, the Office of the President, through the Presidential Management Staff, announced that all official communications, collaterals, and documents bearing the name of the chief executive should read: "President Benigno S. Aquino III."

18. Why is the "Malacañan Palace" spelled as such in the new banknotes?
Malacañan Palace is the official residence of the President. For proper usage, Malacañan (without the letter "g") should be used when it is followed by Palace. Malacañang, which refers to the Office of the President, should not be followed by Palace.

19. Why are the scientific names not italicized and why are the first letters of each of the names in uppercase?

The adoption of the style for the scientific names is an aesthetic decision.

20. How much does each banknote cost?
Depending on the security features used, the cost of production is between three to four pesos per banknote.

21. Why did BSP print younger portraits on the new banknotes?

BSP Printed younger portraits because Filipino featured in the banknotes were in their youth when they began contributing to nation-building.

22. Who chose the portraits printed on the banknotes?

The portraits were provided and approved by the heirs and relatives of the Filipinos featured in the banknotes.

23. Why does it seem that only few banknotes are circulating?

BSP continues to print more New Generation banknotes, which will circulate with the older series until BSP  announces their demonetizatioin. It seems that few new banknotes are circulating because some people do not spend them, jeeo them in their wallets or hold on to them as souvenirs. 

24. Will the new banknotes fit in the cartridges of Banks' ATMs?
The size and weight of the new banknotes are similar to the earlier banknote series, and they fit in the cartridges of banks' automated teller machines (ATMs).

25. What is BSP's policy on how much money to produce?
BSP produces just enough money that the economy needs. Producing more than what is necessary is bad policy because it tends to increase the prices of goods and services and reduce the purchasing power of the peso.

Mintage of Philippine Coins

I came across a news article that reveals just how many circulation coins the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has minted over the years. Interestingly, the Philippines has the highest per-capita number of coins in Southeast Asia. There are roughly 150 coins for every Filipino but an "artificial" coin shortage is being felt because many of these coins are being hoarded in piggy banks, churches, etc.

Coin Denomination - Quantity (Value)
10 pesos - 419.8 million - P4.198 billion
5 pesos - 1.3 billion - (P6.5 billion)
1 peso - 4.3 billion - (P4.3 billion)
25 centavos - 5.5 billion - (P1.375 billion)
10 centavos - 2.4 billion - (P240 million)
5 centavos - 1.6 billion - (P80 million)
1 centavo - 18.7 million - (P187,000)

The question now is, where are all those 1 centavo coins?

BSP purchase of P2.6-billion banknotes printer stalled

By Lee C. Chipongian

The central bank’s controversial bidding of a P2.6-billion printing machine hit a new snag and the purchase of the superline printer has been stalled.

Sources said the Monetary Board has deferred any decisions that would resolve the issues forwarded by two currency printers which participated in the bidding – Switzerland-based KBA-Giori and Komori of Japan.

The pre-bidding was held last December 4. Sources said Giori was the favored bidder by parties close to the office of the governor however Kimori is not yet out of the race.

The BSP was intending to conduct negotiated bidding for the new printer but the Monetary Board ordered that the transaction be open to a bidding instead.

Giori, formerly De La Rue Giori, is 50 percent owned by German printing company Koenig & Bauer. De La Rue prints the UK currency.

Komori is the exclusive printer for Japan’s National Printing Bureau and for the Ministry of Finance. A team of BSP officials recently visited several Kimori printing facilities in the region.

The decision to buy a superline printer, replacing the 1976 and 1983 printers in the Quezon City printing complex, was approved in 2007. The BSP was supposed to buy a set of printing equipment for banknotes, including an offset press, intaglio press, numbering and finishing press.

...continue reading

Design for P500 bill with Aquino couple out soon

[Update: New Generation Philippine Banknotes released]

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is set to print the redesigned banknotes and coins within the year after getting the approval of President Arroyo.

BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. told Tuesday Club members at their breakfast meeting on Tuesday that the redesigned banknotes and coins would include the new P500 bill that would include a portrait of the late President Corazon Aquino beside former Sen. Benigno Aquino.

Tetangco said that the BSP is choosing between three favorite photographs of the late Chief Executive that would be included in the design of the new P500 bill.

He explained that the photo to be placed on the proposed P500 billion would be given to the family of the late president for their approval.

The numismatic committee composed of central bank officials led by Bangko Sentral Deputy Gov. Diwa Guinigundo with representatives from the national historical commission, including Ambeth Ocampo and Dr. Jimmy Laya are finalizing the design of the new banknotes and coins.

“We have looked at several designs. This will require presidential approval,” Tetangco added.

He said the new banknotes and coins would feature national wonders.

According to him, the central bank hopes to get the approval of President Arroyo on the design of the new banknotes and coins before her term expires in June.

...continue reading

Measuring the weight of a banknote

I've been pondering what it would be like to pay 1 billion pesos in cash in the form of banknotes. How heavy is 1 billion Philippine pesos? Can I simply carry this around in a briefcase or will I need a wheelbarrow or maybe a forklift?

First, let's find out how heavy just one banknote is. I had a new uncirculated 50 peso bill in my bag so I folded it and weighed it on an analytical balance at school.

That's 0.9265 grams for a crisp banknote. When I tried a worn out 50 peso bill, it registered heavier at 1.0643 grams. That's understandable since a worn out banknote has more dirt and other foreign material on it. It also absorbs moisture more easily.

Then a friend lent me his uncirculated 500 peso bill so we both checked to see if a different denomination will weight differently.

It turns out the 500-peso banknote, at 0.9672 grams, is heavier than the 50-peso banknote by 0.0407 grams. Since the two crisp bills are exactly the same size, we can infer that the extra weight on the 500 peso banknote is due to the metallic windowed security thread which surely adds up to its weight. The 50 peso bill doesn't have this. Additionally, the 500-peso bill also has more ink printed on it given its more intricate design compared to the 50-peso bill.

So now we know the weight of a banknote will depend on its denomination and whether it is new or worn out. But for the sake of convenience, since a new banknote weighs just under 1 g and an old one just over 1 g, it is very safe to assume that a piece of banknote weighs 1 gram.

Now, how heavy is 1 billion pesos?

If 1 banknote weighs 1 gram, a standard bundle of 100 one thousand peso bills (100,000 PHP) will weigh 100 grams. A million will then be 1 kilogram - easily fits in your bag! But a billion? That will be 1,000 kilograms or one metric ton of 1000-peso bills! That's equivalent to the weight of 20 sacks of rice! You will need a forklift for that.

Lastly, consider that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) admits there is currently a shortage of 1000-peso bills, so your 1 billion pesos in cash will most likely be composed of 500-peso bills and weigh 2 metric tons.

Next time, we will imagine together how this 1 billion pesos in cash would look like. Or maybe a trillion?