Folded peso bills, whether paper or polymer, are legal tender and should be accepted as payment, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said, in response to concerns over the new design bills that require extra care.
The central bank acknowledged concern on social media over the handling of polymer bills, which was initially implemented in the P1,000 denomination. The country's largest mall operator, SM, said it would not reject folded polymer banknotes.
The BSP said in a statement on Monday that folded bills, "whether paper or polymer, can still be circulated and accepted for payment. As such, retailers and banks should accept them for day-to-day payment transactions."
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Bangko Sentral Gov. Felipe Medalla told One News in late June that the new bills should be kept in "wallets or purses that prevent it from being totally folded." He advised the public to keep the bills in long wallets to prevent them from being folded.
In the statement on Monday, the BSP said the bi-fold wallet "fits the criteria" of proper storage for polymer bills.
"The BSP stresses that the above guidelines apply to both paper and polymer banknote. The handling guidelines were issued to raise public awareness on the proper use of polymer and paper banknotes to safeguard their integrity and prolong their lifespan," it said.
"If an individual is doubtful on the value and/or authenticity of a banknote, he or she is encouraged to go to any bank for assistance. The bank will then refer the banknote to the BSP for examination," it said.