By Lee C. Chipongian
The central bank’s seventh coin, the new 20-piso, was launched Tuesday and until demonetized, the coin and its banknote equivalent will continue to be circulated together.
Both the 20-piso banknote, first released in December, 2010, and the 20-piso coin are part of the New Generation Currency (NGC) series. The NGC coins were circulated only in 2018 with six denominations: the 10-piso, 5-piso, 1-piso, 25-sentimo, 5-sentimo and the 1-sentimo.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno first confirmed the decision to release the seventh NGC coin in July this year after a study conducted by the University of the Philippines said that the 20-piso banknote was the “most-used denomination for payments across the country”, resulting in the bill being “easily rendered unfit for circulation and returned to the BSP for replacement.” This led to the BSP decision to issue a new coin that would be “cost efficient in terms of currency production in the long run.”
Diokno is hoping that the bi-color 20-piso coin will bring more attention to how important it is to circulate and to use coins as medium of exchange, and to use all coins for day-to-day transactions and as payment for goods and services.
For now, the 20-piso coins will co-exist with the 20-piso banknotes as legal tender, said the BSP, before it is “gradually removed from circulation through natural attrition.”
The BSP on Tuesday also re-issued a newly designed 5-piso NGC coin which now has nine sides. “(This will) make it more distinct from other denominations in the NGC Coin Series,” said Diokno. The NGC coins are metallic silver in appearance but are actually made of nickel-plated steel and are resistant to corrosion.
Diokno said continued enhancements to coin designs and features “reaffirms BSP’s commitment to not only uphold the highest standard of excellence, but also listen to the public’s observations as it endeavors to bring central banking closer to the people.”
The NGC Coin Series have enhanced security features that are anti-counterfeiting since its metallic composition will discourage the illegal extraction of valuable metal content which in the past, was the reason why coins are being hoarded for the “extraction of metallic contents in overseas smelting entities.”
“The BSP is honored to be among the best in the world in coin design and production, and to receive a distinction for the education program that came with the successful issuance and circulation of these coins,” Diokno said during the launch of the 20-piso coin.
“Aside from the economic value as payment for goods and services, coins play a significant role in a nation’s history, often paying homage to Filipinos with outstanding accomplishments or worthy of emulation, celebrating momentous events, and promoting with pride the country’s historical sites or natural wonders. Coins also reflect a country’s cultures and traditions, and are powerful tools of communication and identification as a nation,” he added
The new P20 coin retains the image of former President Manuel Quezon, who adopted the national language and “worked passionately to regain Philippine independence,” said Diokno. On the flip side, the BSP logo, the native flora called Nilad, and the Malacañang Palace can be seen.
The BSP’s NGC Coin Series recently was recognized by the International Association of Currency Affairs or IACA during the 2019 Coin Awards at the biennial Coin Conference in Rome, Italy.
As of end-March this year, there were 31.8 billion pieces of coins in circulation valued at P39.5 billion.
“The BSP enjoins the public to properly use and recirculate our Philippine coins for their economic and cultural value,” the BSP said in a statement Tuesday.
The BSP added that issuing a P20 coin instead of a banknote is “more cost-effective” since it will have a longer circulation life.