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.