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Philippines charts plans for new coinage

By Richard Giedroyc

The Philippines plans to go high tech with its next generation of coins. Security features planned to be incorporated in the coins now being proposed include an electromagnetic signature that would slow if not stop counterfeiters entirely.

Out with the old, in with the new. The Philippines will be seeing new changes to its coinage as the government revamps their designs and security devices.

Out with the old, in with the new. The Philippines will be seeing new changes to its coinage as the government revamps their designs and security devices.

On Oct. 29 Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said, “We are also concerned about the so-called integrity of our coins. We must guard against possible tampering and issuance of counterfeit coins so we are introducing the EMS [electronic signature] that will allow the vending machines to reject counterfeits.”

A special central bank numismatic committee is re-evaluating all Philippine coins from top to bottom. There won’t be any sacred cows.

According to Guiningundo, “We will be finalizing all our recommendations for the approval by the [Philippines] Monetary Board. As provided by the BSP charter, we will also be going to the palace for the presidential approval of the proposed design, security features, [and] dimensions of the new generation coins.”

The deputy governor continued, “There will be rationalization in terms of number. Some denominations will have to go because they have outlived their usefulness as far as the general public is concerned.”

Guiningundo didn’t name any specific coin denomination, but the 1-centavo coin can’t currently be eliminated because it is mandated by law. The current 5-, 10-, and 25-centavo, 1- and 5-peso coins haven’t changed since 1995. The 10-peso coin now in use was introduced in 2001.

Guiningundo indicated the dimensions of the three peso denominated coins would likely change since these are the denominations used most commonly in circulation.

No schedule for the release of new coin types was given, but Guinigundo said the proposed currency would circulated alongside what he called New Generation Currency or NGC bank notes by either 2018 or 2019. He described both the coins and bank notes as “both with cutting edge security features.”

The Philippines plans to demonetize the New Denomination Series or NDS series of bank notes once the NGC notes are released. The NDS series bank notes were first introduced in 1985.

No specific withdrawal date for all currently circulating bank notes was immediately available, however older peso bank notes identified as having been issued prior to 2010 will be officially withdrawn on Dec. 31. The central bank will continue to exchange these notes through the end of 2016. (The central bank has 19 branches and three regional offices at which the notes can be exchanged.) In addition citizens can register online, then exchange obsolete bank notes at the central bank at a later date. This service is of importance to Philippine citizens working abroad, since they can redeem older bank notes as late as one year after having registered.

No statistics on the number of coins currently in circulation was available in time for this article. The value of NDS bank notes now in circulation is estimated to be 67.28 billion pesos, a significant decline from the estimated 184.35 billion pesos value one year earlier.
No explanation for this decline was given, but it is probable the peso-denomination coins have impacted the use of bank notes.

Guinigundo said new 100-peso bank notes were already in production in late October. The new notes, planned to be released in January 2016, will be have a deeper violet color, this change being made due to the public confusing them with the current blue 1,000-peso bank note.

This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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