What’s up with BSP’s new logo?

Published November 22, 2020, 6:30 AM

by Lee C. Chipongian

          The change in the Philippine central bank’s logo came as a surprise, if not as a shock. Let’s see what the fuss is all about as netizens weigh in on the new logo.

         Indeed, the new Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) logo drew mixed reactions. There were likes, while others found the time to critique and make comments on social media.

         “The gold Philippine eagle looked retro, from the 1970s’ disco era.” That’s just one of the nicer comments. Another said the color shade and how the three stars were situated is “kinda creepy”. No further descriptions required.

          Others said the gold eagle looked more like the American bald eagle, or the bird in the $1 coin. But, it could be inspired by the Philippine Eagle, which is housed in Davao, home to President Duterte.

         Twitter hashtags emerged, #ANGPANGITNGBSPLOGO is one. “Paki balik sa luma,” said Jose [email protected]

          “I kinda like the old one better,” said [email protected]

          “Seems like they put more thought in the old logo,” said Ai-Sha [email protected]

          “Rexona asan ka na,” said [email protected]

          Whatever, the new logo is a done deal. The BSP in a statement said the new logo was endorsed by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and it was approved by Malacañang last week.

The BSP seal

          According to the BSP, the change of the design of its logo will be implemented “in phases.” How they will do this, considering they have to redesign – to some extent – our banknotes, will be explained in January. But change their seal, they will, after President Duterte approved the proposal this month.

         The current BSP seal was first released in 2010 under then BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr., a two-term (12 years) central bank governor. At the time, the BSP was about to circulate a new banknotes’ series or the New Generation Currency (NGC), replacing the New Design Series (NDS) first issued in 1985 until it was demonetized in mid-2017. The NGC and NDS co-existed for a period of four years for a smooth transition from NDS to NGC.

         In 2010, a new logo seemed appropriate and the timing was right because the BSP was changing the look and features of our legal tender. The system was in place and the planning has been set since 2018 when a new series of coins was issued by the BSP.

         The NDS bore the first BSP seal, circa 1993. It was in 1993 when the New Central Bank Act was enacted and created what we know now as the BSP, which rose from the ashes of the old Central Bank of the Philippines (CBP) first established in 1949. Last year, the BSP Charter was amended.

         Today, there’s no plan or requirement to revise the NGC. Although in July this year, the BSP “enhanced” the NGC design with new features and security that are elderly-friendly and “more responsive” to the needs of the visually impaired. The improved NGC also features the latest anti-counterfeiting technology. The newer NGC with enhancements were done on the 50-piso, 100-piso, 200-piso, 500-piso and 1,000-piso. They left out the 20-piso because this bill is on its way out in favor of the P20 coin.

What does it mean?

           This means that for the next two months, the BSP will have to set up a system for this and how they will redesign the banknotes and coins. It will be costly, some observed.

          The BSP said the new logo is in “keeping with the changing times.”

          Some netizens commented that the 2010 logo is still modern by today’s standards, however. Plus, it’s just 10 years since the last logo design was changed. Before that, the original BSP seal has been around for 17 years. And before that, the CBP logo dated back to 1949.

          The BSP said they decided to “refresh” the logo to re-orient the Philippine eagle (our national bird) in a pure gold color and change the placement of the three stars.

          BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno, when he announced the new logo last Friday, said it was designed by their in-house artists from the Security Plant Complex (SPC) in Quezon City. The SPC is where the BSP prints banknotes and mints and refines coins and gold.

         Diokno said his BSP team “is not only dedicated as public servants but creative and talented as well.”

         There’s no full description for the new logo yet, but in the case of the 2010 BSP seal, the three stars represented the three pillars of central banking such as price stability, stable banking system, and a safe and reliable payments system. It also symbolized our three main islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

         Diokno said the new logo has all the elements of the old one – “but with greater emphasis on the Philippine eagle as a symbol of strong leadership and foresight.”

         He also said the central bank logo needed an update. “While the strong foundation of the BSP brand remains the same, its visual representation in the form of the logo requires an update to infuse the institution with renewed vitality, underscore its integrity and competence, and further promote the understanding of its mandates,” Diokno concluded.