Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

Why Bangko Sentral chose P1,000 for polymer banknotes test

Ralf Rivas
Why Bangko Sentral chose P1,000 for polymer banknotes test

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas says 30% of the bills in circulation are P1,000 banknotes, and these are also the most prone to counterfeiting

MANILA, Philippines – Critics and insiders had slammed the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for testing polymer on P1,000 bills, instead of using smaller denominations.

Rappler sources argued that polymer is better tested on P50 or P100 bills, as they are more frequently used in everyday life.

But in a briefing on Thursday, December 2, BSP Deputy Governor Mamerto Tangonan said there are actually more P1,000 banknotes in circulation than other denominations.

Mamerto said 30% of the bills in circulation are P1,000 banknotes, making it the most ideal for the polymer testing.

Moreover, Mamerto noted that the P1,000 bill is also the most frequently counterfeited.

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Rappler earlier reported that the polymer banknotes will be produced by the Reserve Bank of Australia. The first batch of P1,000 polymer banknotes is expected to arrive in the country by the second quarter of 2022.

The BSP ordered 500 million pieces of P1,000 polymer banknotes, which will be circulated from 2022 to 2025. The polymer banknotes will be circulated along with the paper bills.

Polymer banknotes will be more expensive to produce, around 1.6 to 2 times more, but Tangonan said these would be more durable.

Philippine banknotes are currently made of a mix of cotton and abaca fiber. The abaca industry is resisting the central bank’s shift to polymer, saying it would cause job losses among farmers. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.