BSP farmers group urges to stop billing new polymers, and use abaca again

Amid the controversy over the issuance of new PHP1000 polymer bills, a Bangko farmers group has urged Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP; Central Bank of the Philippines) to halt production of polymer banknotes and resume the use of abaca fiber in bills as it has affected the incomes of abaca farmers and their families.

“The Free Farmers Federation (FFF) has joined the growing hype to stop the production and release of P1000 polymer sheets from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,” the group wrote in a statement.

“The BSP’s decision during the last administration to stop using abaca to take these notes has also reduced the market and brought in about 200,000 abaca farm families in 56 provinces,” said FFF President Dioscoro Granada, adding that BSP “ignored the concerns of the Ministry of Agriculture and industry stakeholders.” The abaca on this matter.”

According to FFF, the country earns about $100 million annually from manufacturing and exporting abaca-based products.

In November last year, officials from Catanduanes, a province involved in the abaca industry, opposed the BSP’s move to replace abaca fiber as a raw material for banknotes, arguing that it would be harmful to the livelihoods of abaca farmers and producers, who produce their produce. It makes up 30 percent of the country’s abaca production.

read: Catanduanes officials oppose BSP’s switch to polymer banknotes

The group said it also supported Senator Coco Pimentel’s decision to “investigate the causes and alleged lack of transparency behind BSP’s switch to polymers and its impact on the average citizen, the abaca industry and business.”

Senator Pimentel earlier questioned the production of new polymer bills and growing complaints about their practical use, calling the polymer replacement “completely ridiculous” after a social media post claimed the retail establishment did not accept half-folded polymer banknotes.

read: Senator Pimentel wants BSP to stop billing new PHP1000, urges Senate to investigate ‘hasty’ design changes

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