P150 banknote is fake – BSP

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Thursday, Feb. 2, that they have not issued a new banknote in the denomination of P150 and warned the public of reports about the fictitious bill circulating in social media.

In an advisory, the BSP denied such reports of a new banknote and is encouraging the public to report persons involved in the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit currency to the BSP Payments and Currency Investigation Group at email address [email protected] or through telephone numbers +63-2-8988-4833 and +63-2-8926-5092.

“(BSP) has not released a 150-Piso denomination banknote featuring Dr. Jose Rizal. Images of the said banknote circulating on social media are fictitious,” the BSP said.

Fictitious P150 banknote (BSP photo)

“The public is advised to always check the legitimacy of information found on social media and other channels regarding Philippine banknotes and coins. To verify, visit the Notes and Coins section of the BSP’s official website www.bsp.gov.ph,” it added.

There are only five banknotes in circulation. These are the P50, P100, P200, P500 and P1,000. Since April 2022, the polymer version of the P1,000 is also in circulation.

The BSP since 2020 -- when amid the height of the pandemic, counterfeit money became more rampant – has been aggressively going after perpetrators of fake banknotes production. With law enforcement agencies such as the National Bureau of Investigation, the BSP has been actively conducting joint anti-counterfeiting operations.

Under Republic Act No. 10951, those convicted as counterfeiters are slapped with a maximum P2 million in fines and imprisonment of up to 20 years.

The BSP has been working with both the Lower House and the Senate to impose a more rigid package of penalties and sanctions against currency counterfeiting and to criminalize the stockpiling of large amounts of coins.

The BSP is hoping that their proposed measures will further strengthen its currency operations such as production, distribution, deposit-taking from banks, authenticity verification, anti-counterfeiting operations, and retirement.

From 2010 to 2021, the BSP has conducted 110 law enforcement operations and arrested 179 suspects. It has seized 12,400 pieces of counterfeit banknotes worth P7.8 million and more than 14,300 pieces of counterfeit US dollar banknotes worth more than $92.5 million.