New P20 coin out in December

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Ninongs and ninangs may have to shell out more this coming Christmas season as the coin version of the P20 banknote could be out as early as December.

Filipinos love to give “aguinaldo” – a Spanish term for bonus – during the Christmas season in the form of new and crispy peso bills.

However, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said the proposed P20 coin could be released as early as December.

Diokno added the prototype of the new coin would be submitted to President Duterte for his approval.

 “Could be as early as December this year since that is said to be the favorite gift given during the Christmas season,” Diokno told reporters.

The BSP chief said the central bank is also considering phasing out the P20 banknote that has a lifespan of only about six months.

 “The P20 banknote is very expensive because it has to be replaced after six months. It is the one we print the most. The coins, however, will last five times longer,” Diokno said.

A study by the University of the Philippines showed that the P20 bill is the most used denomination for small-value transactions, and is prone to have a shorter life span.

BSP Assistant Governor Dahlia Luna earlier said the same study also showed that the P20 bill is the dirtiest banknote as it is the most used currency in the country.

Luna, who is also head of the BSP’s Security Plant complex, said the minting cost of the coin version is more expensive than the production cost of the P20 banknote at about P2 per piece, but the lifespan of the coin version is longer than the banknote.

 “The lifespan of a coin when re-circulated is more than 10 to 15 years compared to banknotes, which is less than one year,” Luna said.

With the P20 bills out of the picture soon, godparents would have fewer options as the smallest value banknote would be the P50 bill.

But they can always opt to give the P20 coin as long they can stand the dagger looks from their godchildren or “inaanaks.”

Apart from the P20 bill, the new generation currency series released in 2010 include the P50, P100, P200, P500 and P1,000 bank-notes, while the new generation currency coin series released in 2018 include the one-sentimo, five-sentimo, 25-centimo, one-peso, five-peso, and 10-peso coins.

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