Anti-coin hoarding bill exempts piggy bank users
MANILA, Philippines – Keeping coins in an alkansya (piggy bank) would not be considered "coin hoarding," says a proposed Senate bill that seeks to address the coin shortage in the country.
Senate Bill No. 2452 or the proposed Anti-Hoarding of Philippine Legal Tender Coins Act will exempt individuals who save coins in piggy banks, jars, drawers and wallets "because the volume is so small," said Senator Sergio Osmeña III, who authored the bill.
Businesses using coins in operations, like vending machines, video karera machines, and "piso" nets will not be penalized as well.
Also exempted are charitable institutions, private banks, government banks and financial institutions, and government agencies and instrumentalities which keep coins in connection with their business functions or official duties.
SB 2452, explained Osmeña, targets "individuals or groups engaged in the large-scale hoarding and exportation of coins, which syndicates smelt and convert for use as raw materials for mobile phones, computers, or other industrial applications."
Philippine coins are made of various alloys of copper, brass, nickel, aluminum or steel. The rising values of the metals – plus the fact that the intrinsic value of the metal is worth more than the face value of the coin – has encouraged syndicates to hoard coins, said the senator.
This modus operandi led to a coin shortage that started in 2004, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Despite BSP's efforts to stop the illegal activity and promote public awareness to encourage their use as a medium of exchange, Osmeña said that "the coin shortage continues."
"We have to stop illegal coin hoarding, so we can promote and maintain price stability of our coins. We have been experiencing coin shortage for years now, and if this continues, it would result to a wider-reaching negative impact on the economy," Osmena said.
He added, "It would cost the government a substantial outlay of funds to replace the coins in circulation."
The BSP will be tasked to formulate rules and guidelines to implement the measure, if passed into law. The BSP will also determine the aggregate value, number of pieces, and weight of coins that would be considered as "coin-hoarding." – Michael Bueza/Rappler.com
Man holding piggy bank image via Shutterstock