Only ₱1,000 denomination polymer bills to be rolled out this year — BSP

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 27) — The public won’t be seeing polymer bills in denominations other than ₱1,000, at least for this year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Thursday.

“We’re only producing the polymer version of the ₱1,000 banknote this year. The shift to polymer of other denominations will be based on the result of the circulation of the ₱1,000 polymer banknote,” said BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno during his weekly virtual briefing.

The central bank earlier said the country’s first-ever bills made of the more durable material will arrive this April. It chose the ₱1,000 denomination because it’s the one most used in automated teller machines. 

Research shows bills made of polymer have a lifespan 2.5 to 4 times longer than paper banknotes. They can also be melted and reused once declared unfit and sanitized without getting damaged -- a handy feature amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Should results of the circulation be positive, the proposal would be for a continued and more expanded use of polymer to include other denominations,” said the BSP chief.

The ₱1,000 polymer bill earlier drew flak for its approved design, which does away with Filipino heroes Jose Abad Santos, Josefa Llanes-Escoda, and Gen. Vicente Lim and features national flora and fauna instead. 

No demonetization of ₱20 bill

Diokno also assured that the ₱20 bill is here to stay, even with its coin counterpart already being used widely.

RELATED: ₱20 coin among int’l ‘Best New Coin’ award finalists

“The ₱20 banknotes and coins continue to co-exist until the banknotes become unfit for circulation. There is no demonetization of the ₱20 banknotes,” he said.

The BSP continues to print these bills in-house, added Diokno.