Polymer bills available starting April 18 — BSP

Filipinos curious about the new polymer banknotes can get hold of these plastic-based money over-the-counter at any bank by April 18, and via automated teller machines six months after.

Polymer Banknote

“My information is that this will be available on April 18. This will be initially through over-the-counter and maybe in six months time you’ll see it in your ATMs,” said BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno on Thursday, April 7. An initial batch of 10 million polymer banknotes in 1,000-piso or P1,000 denomination will be released this month.

Diokno said it would take six months or less before the wider public can access polymer banknotes via ATMs because existing ATMs run by banks are not equipped to dispense polymer bills at the moment.

“I understand they have to reconfigure the ATMs. It could be six months or less. We expect that there will be competition among banks and so we don’t expect this to be done 100 percent in six months or one year but there will be competition among banks which can offer the new bill in their ATM. The six months is a maximum,” said Diokno.

The central bank will circulate a small batch of P1,000 polymer banknotes to test the public’s acceptance. At the moment, the BSP is finalizing the memorandum of agreement to cover polymer familiarization by all banks and calibration of existing cash processing machines, vending machines, ATMs, bills acceptors, and other similar devices for compatibility with polymer banknotes.

The polymer version of the existing paper-based P1,000 banknotes will have flora and fauna design and will have as centerpiece the Philippine eagle.

The polymer banknotes’ limited circulation test will help the BSP assess the validity of the purported benefits of using plastic-based money, particularly the effects of polymerization on hygiene and public health, environmental sustainability, durability and counterfeiting rates.

The BSP will start the full public issuance of the P1,000 polymer banknotes in 2023. It was reported earlier that the BSP has an authority to issue as much as 500 million pieces of P1,000 polymer banknotes in the next three years. The polymer banknotes will be produced by the Reserve Bank of Australia subsidiary, Note Printing Australia.

Last January, Diokno said they also plan to produce other polymer banknotes in different denominations such as P500 and P100 if the public will adapt well to the first batch of polymer P1,000 bills.

On Wednesday, April 6, Diokno and the members of the Monetary Board presented the polymer banknotes in Malacañang.

Introducing polymer banknotes in the country is the BSP’s response to pressing public health and safety concerns due to the pandemic, and to circulate a more environment-friendly as well as a more secure currency against counterfeiting.

The hygienic polymer banknotes can be easily sanitized with less risk of damage, said the BSP. It cited scientific studies that have been reviewed by the Department of Health such as the viability of polymer banknotes in countries with tropical climates such as the Philippines since “viruses and bacteria survive for shorter periods on polymer compared to paper banknotes”.

Other studies indicated that polymer banknotes have a smaller carbon footprint and producing them will require less water, energy and other resources, and it can last at least 2.5 times longer than paper banknotes because of their resistance to water, oil, dirt, and general wear and tear.

“In line with best practices of central banks worldwide, the BSP periodically updates the material, design, and security features of our banknotes to ensure that they promote public well-being and incorporate the latest technology to prevent counterfeiting and be durable enough for longer-term use,” said Diokno.

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Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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