By Lee C. Chipongian
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) yesterday assured the public that it can meet the increased demand for banknotes during the holidays and that it has outsourced and printed a sufficient amount of money to go around.
“The BSP assures the public that there is adequate supply of currency in line with the seasonal demand for fresh banknotes during the Christmas season,” said the BSP. It also said that its currency supply “remains sufficient to meet the needs of a growing economy.”
The BSP prints about three billion pieces of banknotes every year and it also outsource the printing of a significant volume or about two billion pieces to foreign banknotes printers when required.
The BSP said it “partially” contracts foreign printers for the production of local banknotes to “meet surges in currency demand under domestic procurement regulations or international competitive bidding processes.”
As of mid-year, the BSP has in circulation more than ₱1.3 trillion worth of banknotes in the six different denominations of 1,000-piso, 500-piso, 200-piso, 100-piso, 50-piso and 20-piso. In volume, this is more than 3.9 billion banknotes.
The BSP’s Security Plant Complex (SPC) in East Avenue, Quezon City is where it prints banknotes, and mints gold and coins. It has spent more than ₱5 billion to upgrade the facility in recent years, including the purchase of new superliner printers worth ₱2.5 billion to ₱3 billion, and the construction of a new minting facility in 2018 amounting to ₱1.2 billion.
According to the BSP, it “continuously invests in and upgrades its capacity for coin and banknote production to further increase its agility in meeting the country’s currency requirements. Towards this end, the BSP plans to establish a larger currency production facility (CPF) in New Clark City.”
“Moreover, the BSP fosters an environment conducive to a cash-lite economy,” it added. “This is in view of an evolving global market landscape that takes into account the efficiencies brought about by advances in electronic payment systems and the potential of technology in enhancing financial inclusion.”
During formal ceremonies last September, where BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno led the groundbreaking event for the New Clark City CPF, he said the new printing complex will start construction in the first quarter 2020 and the expect to complete construction within two to three years, or before his term ends in 2023.
The BSP production facility in Tarlac will be bigger at 29.22 hectares than its current Quezon City facility of seven hectares.
The CPF, once operational, can print all of the Philippine requirement for banknotes, currently at five billion pieces in all six denominations. The SPC has the capacity to print only three billion banknote pieces per year. The other two billion pieces are outsourced to foreign printers.