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BSP launches public awareness campaign for new polymer banknotes

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has launched a dedicated webpage or microsite for the new ₱1,000 polymer banknotes to increase public awareness and encourage its use, hastening the country’s shift to the use of more secure and hygienic banknotes.

The website,, informs the public of the circulation and release timeline of the polymer banknotes, initially circulated last April for a limited 10 million pieces, part of the 500 million pieces that BSP will circulate until 2023.

The next batch of polymer banknote release is scheduled in October this year which will run until June 2023. The BSP will circulate another 490 million banknotes during this period. This will bring the share of polymer banknotes to total number of ₱1,000 bills in circulation to 31.9 percent from 0.7 percent today.

The dedicated website showcases the polymer banknote’s design, benefits, and security features, said the BSP. It also includes guidelines on how to properly handle the polymer money, as well as its circulation timeline.

Educational materials, such as information sheets and frequently asked questions (FAQs), are also posted on the new webpage. At present, the polymer bills are being dispensed over the country, but banking networks’ cash-processing machines including automated teller machines (ATM) will only be able to dispense polymer banknotes after recalibration. The timeline is by end-December this year for National Capital Region (NCR) and by end-June 2023 for banks in areas outside of the NCR.

The BSP and banks have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to cover polymer familiarization by all banks and calibration of existing cash processing machines, vending machines, ATMs, bills acceptors, and other similar devices for compatibility with polymer banknotes.

The polymer banknotes are outsourced and printed by Note Printing Australia, a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Australia. The BSP currently has no capacity to produce polymer banknotes.

The BSP has decided to circulate the waterproof and dirt-proof polymer banknotes for its hygienic and sanitary values. These are important features for a banknote especially in a pandemic.

The chemical component of a polymer banknote makes its surface smooth and resistant to dirt, bacteria, and viruses. The Department of Health, based on its scientific studies, has noted that viruses and bacteria survive for shorter periods on polymer banknotes compared to paper money.

Polymer banknotes, which have smaller ecological footprints, will also last much longer or at least 2.5 times longer than paper banknotes, and could withstand extreme temperatures.

Aside from these attributes, the BSP said the cost of producing banknotes could be reduced by 40 percent to 60 percent. And, since polymer banknotes have a smaller carbon footprint, it also has lower water and energy usage.

The shift to polymer banknotes, which are made of synthetic polymer substrates, comes at the most appropriate time when the world is still fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and facing a formidable climate change challenge.

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