BSP to start construction of new printing facility

Published January 14, 2021, 7:30 AM

by Lee C. Chipongian

Despite being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will pursue the construction of its 30-hectare new Currency Production Facility (CPF) in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac this year.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno, during Wednesday’s Virtual Signing Ceremony for the BSP-Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) Contract of Lease which is a 50 to 75 years of land lease agreement, said they are now ready for the next step in its long-term plan of transferring its Security Plant Complex (SPC) operations outside of Metro Manila.

“The signing of this contract now gives the BSP the go-signal to proceed onto the next phase of this undertaking, which is the procurement of the architectural and engineering design, and the construction of the modern, eco-friendly facilities,” said Diokno.

He said the contract covers 313,171 square meters of land that he described as conveniently located along the New Clark City – SCTEX access road. The BSP will build a new plant complex for the production and distribution of currency, and the printing of “secure products” such as the national identification card and land title certificates, said Diokno. Executive offices and administration buildings will also be constructed, plus green spaces and employee wellness areas, a new BSP museum, and other support structures necessary to the operations of the BSP, he added.

BCDA president and CEO Vivencio B. Dizon said the BSP project is the first major metropolis-type construction outside of Metro Manila.

“Today is a major milestone (and) we’re looking forward to start construction this year,” said Dizon before the signing of the lease contract.

The BSP broke ground on this project in September 2019 and at the time, before the pandemic happened, the BSP was planning to start construction in the first quarter of 2020 and to complete the CPF project after three years.

The Tarlac printing facility once operational is intended to have the full capacity to print all of the country’s banknotes requirement, currently at five billion pieces in all six denominations, including the 20-piso which will be phased out eventually to give way to its coin version.

At the moment, the SPC in East Avenue, Quezon City, can print up to three billion banknote pieces per year, and the rest are outsourced to foreign printers.

BSP officials have said that they are selling the seven-hectare SPC property for P8 billion.

Diokno on Wednesday reiterated that the new facility will strengthen the BSP’s “strategic foothold” in the country’s key growth corridors “in pursuit of its mandates in the areas of currency and securities production and distribution.”