Is this P1 or P5? PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 18 June 2018 14:33

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

My suki in the market very kindly called my attention to the fact that I had given her P5 rather than the P1 I should have. She was honest about this but not everyone is. Which brings me  to  question why we are regularly changing the design of bills and coins in the Philippines.

If saying “regularly changing” is an exaggeration, okay, so I apologize. But why indeed do we change the design of bills and coins as often as we have?

I remember an explanation once for the change in the design of coins. It is said that the metal of a coin should not cost more than the value of the coin as currency, otherwise the coins are hoarded so as to be sold later for the value of the metal. Which then leads to shortage of this coin.

I don’t know if this claim is true, I just read it. But if we simply grant that it is correct, why don’t the people who make decisions on matters like this deliberate more carefully about all the factors that need to be considered about making coins for use in the country before the coin ( or bill)  is made?

For some years now we have been using the silvery-looking  one-peso coin, the yellow-colored five-peso coin and the ten-peso coin, which is silvery for the most part but with a copper-colored ring in the middle. But now we see the new one- and the five-peso coins in circulation and they are not so easy to tell apart. Even in daylight. What was the purpose for the change?

In 2017 and still ongoing this 2018 we had all  those reminders from the banks about old and new paper bills – which would still be acceptable up to a certain date and which would then no longer be. And this wasn’t the first time that we went through this experience. Unless one is a teller in a bank the design of a bill is not really something we look at carefully each time, except for the figure which says what the value of the bill is.  The colors for the paper bills make them distinctive from each other – orange, red,  purple, green, yellow and  blue . But for the life of me I can’t say whose visage or what photo is on these bills.

Do  other countries do the same thing we do?

Does a government office make money when it  orders  new coins or paper bills to be circulated? I am not accusing anyone, but if the answer is “yes” then I think I understand why.