Metro Cebu vendors still unaware of new currency

By Vanessa Claire Lucero |May 31,2015 - 10:32 PM

Old banknotes can no longer be used for payments by Jan. 1, 2016

FACE VALUE. The old peso notes seen at left will no longer be accepted starting on January 1, 2016. (CDN INFOGRAPHICS)

FACE VALUE. The old peso notes seen at left will no longer be accepted starting on January 1, 2016. (CDN INFOGRAPHICS)


The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas may have to intensify efforts to inform the public about the demonetization of old currency.

“Wa jud koy kalibutan ana (I had no idea),” said Shane, a 24-year-old vendor outside SM City Cebu.

“Maayo nga nagpahibaw mo ron, para di mi maalkansi unya (It’s good that you’re telling us now, so that we won’t incur losses later),” she told Cebu Daily News.

Shane said she heard no news about this, neither from the television nor by word-of-mouth.

Allanes Beltran, 27, another vendor near SM City Cebu, said he heard the news. But for other vendors, who approached CDN and Beltran, the news came as a surprise.

“Wa jud mi kahibaw, dai (We did not know at all),” a vendor said.

“Mao diay ni ang mupuli nga papel (So these are the notes that will replace the old bills),” she added, looking at printed copies of the two banknote series provided by CDN.

They are among the many people who are still unaware of the impending phaseout of the New Design Series (NDS) banknotes. These will be replaced by the New Generation Currency (NGC) series.

The NDS currency can still be used as payment alongside the new currency until December 31, this year.

Starting Jan. 1, 2016, the old bills can no longer be used in transactions.

But these can be exchanged at face value, free of charge, at the Cash Department of the Bangko Sentral, its branches and offices as well as at authorized banks.

By Jan. 1, 2017, the old notes will become obsolete. Only the newer NGC bills will be used.

Several vendors had difficulty telling between the old and new currency.

They hoped they could get printouts of the new and old bills that they can put up in their stalls to avoid getting the obsolete currency.

Jeepney driver Amboy Joseph was also caught by surprise.

“Di man ko tig tan-aw og news gud (I don’t watch the news),” he said.

For jeepney driver Joey Pineda, the demonetization of the old banknotes will not heavily inconvenience him next year.

“Amo lang sila tarungon og pasabot nga dili na mi pwede mudawat ana ug kung naa silay bag-o, mao lang ihatag. Mas maglisod man mi ug pa-change kaysa nila kay nag drive man mi. Mas daghan man silag oras (We will just make our passengers understand that we cannot accept old notes. We don’t have time to have the old bills exchanged for new ones at the bank. They have more time to do that),” Pineda said.

An option is to use the old currency to pay for gasoline, he said.

He saw a problem, however, in identifying genuine bills from fake ones, especially while driving and at night.

Both Joseph and Pineda said the government should exert more effort in informing the public of the demonetization process.

They said they will do their part by informing other drivers, especially because a lot of them do not watch or read the news.

How to tell the new from the old currency?

The new banknotes, under the New Generation Series, are brighter in color.

These feature the new Bangko Sentral logo, larger number denominations, asymmetrical serial number with the digits increasing in size, only six denominations (P20, P50, P100, P200, P500, and P1000) and natural wonders and species at the back.

Famous Filipinos featured on the old notes are still in the new currency. But the P500 bill, which used to feature only the late senator Benigno Aquino Jr., now features both the late senator and the late president Corazon Aquino.

The security thread found on the new 100-, 200-, 500- and 1000- bills are wider. Blue and red security fibers can be seen randomly woven into the new notes.

Where the old notes featured old buildings, historical landmarks and events at the back, the new currency features known natural wonders and animals indigent to the Philippines.

Featured in the new bills are the: Banaue Rice Terraces, palm civet and Cordillera weave design in P20; Taal Lake, giant trevally and Batangas embroidery design in P50; Mayon Volcano, whale shark and Bicol textile design in P100; Chocolate Hills, tarsier and Visayas weave design in P200; Underground River, blue-naped parrot and Southern Philippines cloth design in P500; and Tubbataha Reefs,

South Sea pearl and Tinalak in P1000.

The new P500 and P1000 notes also have optically-variable device patch – a blue-naped parrot for the P500 and South Sea pearl in a clam for P1000. The color of each object changes from red to green as the bill is rotated.

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