BSP bares new P20, redesigned P5 coins
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - December 17, 2019 - 10:35am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Tuesday revealed the new P20 and redesigned P5 coins that would be released in circulation early next year.

The redesigned P5 coin would be more distinct from the New Generation Currency coin series as a lot of consumers were confused with its similarity to the P1 coin.

The BSP earlier said the enhanced P5 coins would be thicker and heavier than the P1 coins.

The new P20 coin, meanwhile, will have a longer circulation life than the P20 banknote as it has become the most-used denomination for payments across the country.

Citing a University of the Philippines study, the BSP noted that the P20 banknote has been easily rendered unfit for circulation and returned for replacement for being the most-used denomination.

"The new 20-Piso NGC coin shall co-exist as legal tender with the currently-circulating 20-Piso NGC banknote, which will be removed from circulation through natural attrition," the BSP said.

The new P20 coin retains the face of former President Manuel L. Quezon on its front side while the BSP logo and the Malacañan Palace will be featured on the reverse side.

Quezon was the first Philippine president who advocated for a national language, created the National Economic Council and was the first to occupy the Malacañan Palace as the official residence of the chief executive.

The new coin will also feature the Nilad plant, which Manila's name is believed to have originated from. Its star-shaped flowers supposedly lined the banks of Pasig River where Malacañan Palace is.

'Signal of devaluation'

The Quezon family, on the other hand, earlier warned that changing the P20 banknote into a coin sends a signal of devaluation to the citizens.

Former Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III, grandson of former President Quezon, earlier posted comments when BSP officials contacted their family on the new coin.

"Psychologically as citizens it would send a signal of devaluation: abolition of one denomination of paper currency sends an overall signal of the shrinking value of our currency; symbolically it also serves, unintentionally to be sure but will still be interpreted as such, as the demotion of the personality on the bill to be withdrawn from circulation," Quezon III said.

Quezon's grandson also noted that the use of the new P20 coins would be "extremely inconvenient" given the bill's wide use.

The new coins would also affect the Abaca industry as it would lessen the bills printed using Abaca fiber.

"These are essentially practical considerations we believe ought to be considered, since of course the family is honored by the choice of the government to portray MLQ in the currency of the Republic," he said.

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