- Why is the BSP changing the designs of our money?
- How will BSP prevent the spread of counterfeit or fake money?
- When will the new currency be available?
- Will there be changes in the size of our new banknotes?
- What will happen to the existing currency in circulation?
- How does the BSP select new designs and security features for our new generation currency notes?
- What are the design elements of our new banknotes?
- What are the considerations in the selection of security features for our new currency?
- Did we use polymer or plastic in our money like some countries?
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.
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.
The new currency designs will be available starting this month, 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.
The size of the new banknotes has been retained and will be the same as the present
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
A BSP(Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas Media Release
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