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Why the 'Hasty' Peso Bill, Coin Redesigns? Senator Seeks Probe

Sen. Koko Pimentel wants to know the rationale and the cost.
by Erwin Colcol
Dec 16, 2021
Photo/s: Handout from BSP
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Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III is calling for an investigation into the frequent design changes in Philippine peso coins and notes initiated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas after the redesign of the P1,000 bill sparked protests.

In Senate Resolution 962, Pimentel noted how frequent the central bank changed the designs of Philippine peso notes and coins, starting with the New Generation Currency Series in 2010, the New Generation Currency Coin Series in 2018, up to the redesign of the P5 coin and the issuance of the P20 coin in 2019.

The BSP on Dec. 11 unveiled the complete overhaul of the current P1,000 note, replacing World War II heroes and martyrs Jose Abad Santos, Vicente Lim, and Josefa Llanes-Escoda with an image of the Philippine eagle.

The move was met with criticism among historians, who fear that it could result in Filipinos forgetting the sacrifices that these heroes and martyrs made during the World War II.

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"There is a need to inquire into the reason for the BSP's rather arbitrary and hasty changes in our monetary design for the purpose of crafting legislation on this matter," Pimentel said.

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Who is Josefa Llanes Escoda, the Woman Hero in Old P1,000 Bill?

Pimentel said he wanted to know which agencies were consulted ion the new design, how much it cost, and the rationale behind the switch to polymer from paper.

Despite the criticisms, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said they central bank would continue to print the redesigned P1,000 note, arguing that culture and history are both worthy of being celebrated in coins and banknotes.

Diokno said the current P1,000 featuring Abad Santos, Lim, and Llanes-Escoda would remain in circulation alongside the redesigned one.

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