The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas advised the public over the weekend to properly handle and circulate the “20-piso” new-generation currency coins that were released to the public in December 2019.
It said the bicolor coin has a nickel-plated steel core and a bronze-plated steel ring. By nature, copper-based metals like bronze undergo oxidation when exposed to the environment as indicated by a change in color shade or toning of the coin ring.
The BSP said to preserve the integrity and prolong the luster of coins, the public should keep them clean and dry; avoid putting adhesives on the coins; and avoid soaking the coins in liquids for prolonged periods.
“If needed, clean coins using weak acid, e.g., citric acid from kalamansi/lemon; rinse with water and wipe it with a dry cloth or paper towel; and avoid using chemicals that contain oxidizing agents such as bleach, or strong acids such as muriatic and sulfuric acids,” it said.
“If coins were accidentally exposed to these chemicals, immediately rinse with water and wipe them with dry cloth or paper towel,” it said.
The BSP encouraged the cooperation of the public to preserve the integrity of Philippine currency.
It earlier warned against online sellers advertising “brilliant” uncirculated 20-piso coins for sale.
The BSP said it had “not issued brilliant uncirculated 20-piso coins.”
The 20-piso NGC coins were released to the public beginning December 2019. As of end-August 2020, some 2.09 million pieces of these coins amounting to P41.85 million were in circulation.
It said the coins are legal tender and may be used as payment for goods and services at face value.
The release of the 20-piso coins last year made it the highest denomination in the NGC coin series.
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the coin was more cost-efficient to produce as they have a longer circulation life of 10 to 15 years, compared to the banknote’s three to six months.
The carelessness of Filipinos in handling their money, sometimes, prompted the BSP to produce the 20-piso coins, he said.
A study conducted by the University of the Philippines showed that the 20-piso banknote is the most widely used denomination for payments across the country. As a result, it is easily rendered unfit for
circulation in just a few months and returned to the BSP for replacement.
Diokno said the new 20-piso coins should co-exist as legal tender with the circulating 20-piso NGC banknotes which would be removed from circulation through natural attrition.