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

Given the hype surrounding the new PHP1000 polymer banknote, opposition Senator Aquilino “Coco” Pimentel III said he wants Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP; Central Bank of the Philippines) to stop issuing and producing the new bill.

The senator, who has called the polymer replacement “completely ridiculous,” stressed that BSP should think twice before continuing production on the new bill amid growing complaints about its practical use.

Issuing these polymer bills to replace our old coins is absolutely ridiculous. Our bills must be designed in such a way that they can withstand minimal abuse such as creasing and folding. Parang Gusto Pa yata nila ilagay sa frame ‘yung bills para kunwari matibay (It’s as if they wanted people to frame the bills.) Pimentel said in a statement that BSP should suspend production of these notes as soon as possible.

The central bank received social media outrage after a post claimed that a shopping mall retail establishment did not accept a PHP1000 bill as payment because it was folded in half.

read: BSP declines, says new PHP1000 polymer bills can be folded after backlash on social media

The shopping mall chain, SM Supermalls, issued a statement assuring the public that they can pay with folded bills at their establishments, but stressed that defaced banknotes, such as those stapled and shredded from the removal of core wires, would not be accepted.

The senator also questioned BSP’s decision to use polymer instead of abaca The fibers of the new notes, saying they were harmful to the country’s abaca industry.

Local officials in Catanduanes have already voiced opposition to the switch from abaca to polymer banknotes, claiming that the switch could displace 90 percent of the province’s abaca farmers, which make up about 30 percent of the country’s total abaca industry.

Pimentel said he has introduced a resolution urging a Senate investigation into BSP’s “hasty changes” to the design of banknotes and coins, which were made at taxpayers’ expense.

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