By Lee C. Chipongian
Capas, Tarlac – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will start construction of its new Currency Production Facility (CPF) in New Clark City in the first quarter of 2020 and will finish it within two to three years, according to BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno.
“All paper works should be done before the end of the year so pwede na kami mag umpisa ng construction first quarter of 2020,” Diokno told reporters after the signing of a memorandum of agreement with Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) president Vivencio B. Dizon for the establishment of the 29.22-hectare CPF.
The CPF, once operational, can print all of the Philippine requirement for banknotes, currently at five billion pieces in all six denominations. The Security Plant Complex (SPC) in East Avenue, Quezon City, has the capacity to print only three billion banknote pieces per year. The other two billion pieces are outsourced to foreign printers.
“We no longer need to outsource, dito na kami mag pi-print ng lahat ng requirements (we will print all requirements here),” said Diokno.
He said that they still have to work out on the costs of building for the new currency printing plant. He said they have yet to finalize the costings to construct the huge complex since all equipment and machine acquisitions are through bidding process.
The multipurpose facilities is primarily a printing facility, Diokno added, but similar to the existing seven-hectare SPC, it will also house minting facilities for gold and coins.
The BSP will also print the country’s new National ID next year, and once talks with the Department of Foreign Affairs pushes through, they will also take back the printing of passports.
Another MOA between the BSP and BCDA will be signed once location details are threshed out and to agree anew to work together to complete the development of the new printing complex as soon as possible, said Diokno.
The BSP has put a sale price of P8 billion for the SPC property. Diokno said they will sell the SPC once the Tarlac site is completed. Based on the MOU, the development of the offices of BSP in New Clark City will be consistent with its Phase 1 development within a four-year timeframe or from 2019 – 2022.
In the meantime, BCDA’s Dizon said they have “scored a big one” with the relocation of the country’s banknotes printing facilities in New Clark City.
“We caught a big fish today. I cannot contain the excitement and happiness of the BCDA and all people involved and the residents of Capas, Tarlac, because of the commitment of the BSP has given to one of cornerstone of President Duterte’s BBB (Build, Build, Build),” said Dizon. “Maybe in two years you will see the new minting facility of the BSP,” he added, referring to the site as future-proof.
The new BSP facility will be conveniently located near the access road connecting New Clark City to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).
Diokno noted that “the BSP follows a stringent set of criteria in selecting locations for its facilities. These standards — which encompass everything from lot configuration, site conditions, to infrastructural support — are intended to ensure that the BSP’s operations are optimally located. After an exhaustive canvass of sites north and south of Metro Manila, needless to say that the New Clark City is the only one that met the requirements of the BSP – with flying colors, might I add.”