“And this will be initially through over-the-counter. And maybe in six months time, you will see it in your ATMs (automated teller machines). I understand they (banks) have to reconfigure the ATMs," , Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a virtual briefing on April 7.
Diokno said the polymer banknotes will be issued alongside the 1,000-peso paper banknotes.
He said the use of polymer banknotes is better compared to paper banknotes now amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) since the former can be sanitized easily with less risk of damage to the banknotes.
The BSP said the design of the polymer banknote has the Philippine eagle and sampaguita on the obverse side, replacing the photos of national heroes Jose Abad Santos, Vicente Lim, and Josefa Llanes Escoda; and the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, South Sea Pearl, and T’nalak weave design on the reverse side, the same as the current 1,000-peso paper banknote.
Addressing questions regarding the removal of the photos of the national heroes on the 1,000-peso polymer banknote, lawyer Sarah Severina Curtis, BSP Banknotes and Securities Production Management Department deputy director, said the central bank has been featuring both the national heroes and the natural environment on BSP-issued currency for decades now.
“As with the heroes’ theme, the flora and fauna demonstrate our pride and distinction as Filipinos. It will remind our people even of the pressing challenges of changing climate and associated environmental and social risks of our nation’s commitment and action to ensure a sustainable future for everyone,” she said.
Quoting historian and professor Ambet Ocampo, Curtis said “it is impossible for the BSP to erase history.”
Curtis said the 1,000-peso polymer banknote’s security features have been designed using advanced technology to deter counterfeiting.
“We would like to reiterate that there will be no demonetization of any currency during the Governor’s term,” she added.
Diokno and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III presented to President Rodrigo R. Duterte 50 pieces of uncut 1,000-peso polymer banknotes in a ceremonial program in Malacañang on Wednesday.