BSP: First batch of polymer ₱1,000 bills to arrive April 2022; Australia to print banknotes

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 2) — The country will get to test its first-ever polymer banknotes when they arrive next year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced on Thursday.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the first batch of the more durable bills is expected to arrive in April 2022. The BSP partnered with the Reserve Bank of Australia and its subsidiary Note Printing Australia for the production of the banknotes.

"Australia's the first country to issue full-series polymer banknotes and has produced and supplied polymer banknotes to several countries. As such, their advanced technology and expertise in the printing of polymer banknotes will be the best benchmark for our first circulation," Diokno said.

The central bank has been authorized to produce 500 million pieces of ₱1,000 polymer bills for its pilot - running between 2022 and 2025 - according to BSP Deputy Governor Mamerto Tangonan.

Polymer banknotes are said to have a lifespan that is 2.5 to 4 times longer than paper ones, and can be sanitized without getting damaged — a handy feature especially as the COVID-19 pandemic lingers on.

Given their longer lifespan, it will take longer to replace them — effectively costing the government less in their production.