The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is assuring the public of sufficient supply of banknotes to meet the increased demand for currency during the holiday season.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno

“There will be no shortage of new banknotes in the Yule season,” said BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno. “As in previous years and to support seasonal demand, 40 percent and 50 percent of the total volume of banknotes and coins, respectively, will be serviced in the fourth quarter of the year,” he said.

Demand for banknotes usually peak beginning in October until December. There is increased supply of banknotes especially for denominations 1,000-piso, 100-piso and 20-piso. The P20, P5 and P1 coins are also in demand during the “Ber” months.

The BSP is also encouraging the public to use digital money more versus physical or fiat money.

“Digital wallets offer a safe, efficient, and convenient way to transfer funds to family and friends during the season of giving,” said Diokno. The use of digital money is highly recommended to reduce virus transmission amid the ongoing health crisis, he added.

The BSP prints about three billion pieces of banknotes every year and it also outsource the printing of a significant volume or about two billion pieces to foreign banknotes printers when required.

However in 2020, the first year of the pandemic and amid strict lockdowns, the central bank outsourced 62.2 percent of banknotes from foreign printers. The rest or 34.7 percent of banknotes were printed locally. During normal times, the BSP will print most of the country’s banknotes requirements. In 2019 it produced 65.7 percent of banknotes and only outsourced 34.3 percent.

The BSP outsource currency printing as a temporary stop-gap measure to meet surges in currency demand such as in the 1,000-piso and 500-piso.

The BSP on Saturday, Oct. 30, also issued an advisory encouraging Filipinos to exchange their unfit banknotes and coins for new ones with their banks.

The BSP implements a Clean Note and Coin Policy whose objective is to extend the lifespan of banknotes and coins and cutting the cost of currency production.

Last Monday, Oct. 25, the BSP announced that it will issue 1,000-piso polymer banknotes in the first half of 2021 to test the circulation of a more hygienic and recyclable plastic money.

The BSP, which has ongoing consultations with polymer banknote producers, said that it is “cautiously optimistic” about a possible shift to polymer money in the future. Polymer banknotes have low bacterial count compared to paper or cotton-based banknotes and are considered safer than paper as it will not host viruses or bacteria.

Source: Manila Bulletin (