By Chino S. Leyco
“Parang tatlong bulate (It’s like three worms),” this is how the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno describes his distinctive signature that will appear in all the Philippine banknotes starting in June this year.
Considered as the second most valuable signature in the country next to the President, Diokno, who now serves the remaining term of the late BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr., has no plan at all to change the autograph that identifies him.
Diokno, 71, admits the style of his signature could be easily forged, but he is confident it does not pose risk to the banknotes and the BSP as an institution regulating the local financial sector.
“Our banknotes have several security features, aside from the President and my signatures,” Diokno shares during his birthday celebration late Monday. “The BSP also asked me to write out the date on all the documents I sign as an added security.”
According to the fifth governor of the BSP, his Alibata looking signature has never been an issue when he was still a professor in the University of the Philippines.
“This is not a shortcut version, mukang lang talagang tatlong bulate,” Diokno quips.
However, the central bank chief discloses that he used to have a more complicated signature before, but “I started to get tired of it because of the load of school papers that I have to sign.”
The BSP immediately asked for four specimens of Diokno’s signature after he was appointed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte last March 4.
“I already saw some pictures of the banknotes bearing my signature, and I think it will be in our circulation in three-months’ time,” Diokno says.
In December 2017, the BSP released banknotes with “enhanced” security features in all of the six denominations of 20-piso, 50-piso, 100-piso, 200-piso, 500-piso and 1,000-piso.
“The enhancements aimed to highlight significant moments in the nation’s history, as well as its world heritage sites and iconic natural wonders,” the BSP had said.
“The Philippine banknotes remain a constant reminder of the Philippine patriotism and bravery, and centuries of journey for the Filipino people’s better future.”
The BSP usually redesigns its banknotes every 10 years on average.