Public urged to be ‘extra vigilant’ against fake money
AS the May 9 elections draw near, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) yesterday urged the public to be “extra vigilant” against counterfeit banknotes.
Leonides B. Sumbi, BSP director for Visayas, also stressed that the central bank supports clean and honest elections.
“Don’t use our banknotes for vote-buying,” she appealed.
Sumbi said the “proliferation of fake banknotes is not new, especially during elections.”
“That has always happened. Extra vigilance lang,” she said in a press conference yesterday.
She said the public should take note of the distinguishing features of the New Generation Currency (NGC) banknotes, especially the embossed print which cannot be replicated.
“Pangitaa dayon ang Republika ng Pilipinas (Immediately look for the Republika ng Pilipinas seal) and feel the embossed print. If it’s embossed, that’s genuine,” she added.
Other security features in the NGC banknotes include visible and embedded security fibers, an ascending serial number, and watermarks.
When the banknotes are viewed against the light, the concealed value of the note and the see-through mark of the word “Pilipino” written in Baybayin can also be seen.
Earlier, Sumbi said the most commonly counterfeited banknote is the P200 bill because it is the least recognizable considering that it is not as circulated as much as the other banknotes.
Currently in circulation are the NGC banknotes as the New Design Series (NDS) bills have been demonetized effective Jan. 1 this year, although these can still be exchanged for the the new notes at the Bangko Sentral and in all banks.
The NDS bills will be fully phased out by Jan. 1, 2017.
The demonetization process started in January 2015. Since then, Sumbi said 382.8 million pieces have been retrieved as of end-March this year.
Some 328.9 million pieces, comprising 10.5 percent of the total bills in circulation, have yet to be retrieved.
Sumbi said they target to retrieve only about 70 percent of the old bills. As of March, about 54 percent of the NDS banknotes have been collected.
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