Letters to the Editor

Money, money

The Philippine Star

There is such a loud outcry over the new P1000 polymer bills, and it really seems like these new bills were, as critics claim, designed without public consultation and by folks “who obviously do not go to market (hindi namamalengke).” Do not fold, do not staple, do not wet, do not leave under the sun… we should probably laminate the bills or put them in individual plastic envelopes!

But having this new banknote foisted on us is just the latest in what seems to be a penchant for frequent changes in our monetary system. Since the “Bagong Lipunan” notes of the 70s under Marcos Sr., there have been numerous re-designs of bills and coins. Different colors/shades, different heroes/personages, different sites/attractions on the bills, likewise for the coins, which have also changed in size and thickness.

This has led to some interesting sidelights, such as the “Arrovo” bills becoming collectors’ items, and the new P20 coin initially rumored to be issued in limited quantities, leading to the coin being sold online for many times its legal value.

I have to wonder what the reason is behind this frequent need to change. Is it to foil counterfeiting (duh)? Is it to keep us on our toes (huh)? Is it because there are many in the monetary authority offices with not enough to do (walang magawa)?

Anyway, when I go to the palengke tomorrow – with the way prices keep going up on everything so you really need P1000 bills – I’ll just use P100 and P500 bills since the money will surely get wet and crumpled when I pay my fish suki! – Isabel Dela Cruz, Marikina


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