The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas once again warned the public against the improper handling of local currency, saying those who would be found guilty would face fines and imprisonment of not more than five years.
The regulator mentioned these acts of currency mishandlings that include mutilation, tearing, burning or willful defacement.
“The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas warns the public that the willful defacement, mutilation, tearing, burning or destruction of Philippine banknotes and coins are punishable by a fine of not more than P20,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than five years, under Presidential Decree No. 247,” the BSP said in a statement Tuesday.
It also said that Philippine “banknotes and coins are issued for circulation as medium of exchange and to utilize them for other purposes does not speak well of the due respect and dignity befitting our currency.”
It said other prohibited acts of defacement and/or mutilation of Philippine currency were writing or putting marks on banknotes; willful and excessive folding or crumpling that would result in a breakdown of the structure and limpness of the banknote; and willfully causing multiple random folds across the entire banknote that toughly would affect its visual appearance.
BSP also said that willfully exposing banknotes or coins to chemicals or other materials could result in the acceleration of the defacement, destruction, or natural wear and tear of the note or coin.
“The public is also discouraged to staple banknotes and/or use adhesives to put on banknotes and coins as these will compromise their structural integrity,” it said.
The BSP encouraged the public to report any information on improper handling of Philippine currency to the nearest police station or law enforcement agency, for appropriate action.
In March 2018, the BSP released the full set of New Generation Currency coin series composed of the 10-, 5-, 1-piso, and 25-, 5-, and 1-sentimo into circulation.
Bangko Sentral Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said the new set of coins would have enhanced features which would make it impossible for counterfeiters to copy them.
Guinigundo said in particular, micro-printed details using laser-engraving technology were included in the 10- and 5-piso coins which makes it difficult for these coins to be duplicated using traditional counterfeiting methods.
He said the metallic composition of the NGC coins also discouraged the illegal practice of hoarding large quantities of coins for the extraction of their metal content.