IT is reassuring to note that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has leveled up its campaign about the seeming apprehension from merchants, traders and vendors about the new P1,000 polymer bills when they are presented for payment for items bought.
Bangko Sentral is making good use of social media platforms in connecting to the public to remove apprehensions about the polymer bills. BSP said they are still good for their monetary value even when they are folded. We got text messages about the assurance from the monetary agency that even when folded, the new polymer bills are still good.
There have been numerous reports about traders refusing to accept the new polymer bills when they are folded. And with this apprehension, they are also reluctant to accept the bills on the belief that they may fold the bills and thus can’t be used for payment or deposit anymore. This problem hurts the economy since the velocity of money, which drives commerce, is curtailed.
Actually, the confusion over folded polymer bills arose from vlogs about the non-acceptance of folded bills. And as the vloggers tried to outdo each other, the social media noise about folded bills rose to intense decibels that traders from Taytay, Divisoria, and other areas started refusing to accept the new bills. The same apprehension was also noted in far-flung provinces.
That is why the Bangko Sentral is now active on social media platforms to reassure the public that folded or not, these new P1,000 polymer bills are acceptable. It is hoped that with BSP’s assurances, the public will openly embrace the polymer bills the way they accepted the old P1,000 paper bills. Kudos to the BSP’s communications department. This information campaign is timely, as the nation celebrates Christmas. It is indeed important to disabuse the minds of our traders and vendors that the new bills are still good even when they are folded.
Polymer bills have been adopted in other countries because they last five times longer than paper bills. Polymer bills are also hard to counterfeit and their design can be secured while other features can be added to promote our tourist spots such as the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, a Unesco heritage site that’s featured in the new P1,000 polymer bills. Thus, the bills become tourism come-ons for the country.
There are features incorporated in the new polymer bills that help the visually challenged as there are five embossed sites that allow for tactile distinction of the notes. Also, producing polymer banknotes has less environmental impact given their smaller carbon footprint, lower water and energy usage, and less environmental toxicity.
With polymer bills, the Bangko Sentral introduced detailed images and sophisticated security features that make polymer banknotes more difficult to counterfeit. These aspects, aside from the savings on the use of polymer bills, are the plus factors for the use of the new P1,000 bills.
Amid the buzz on climate change, polymer banknotes are considered green since these banknotes can be recycled to produce various products such as building components, plant pots, and garden furniture.
On the issue of health concerns following Covid-19, the smoother, non-absorptive surface of polymer banknotes makes them cleaner. Based on studies by our Department of Health, the survival time of bacteria and viruses in polymer banknotes is significantly shorter than in paper banknotes.
Polymer banknotes can also withstand the test of temperature and time. They can last much longer than paper banknotes given their resistance to water, oil, dirt, and general wear and tear. After Covid, some citizens have been sprinkling alcohol on the bills they get for added precaution.
Another advantage of using polymer bills is that the country can put a distinct design and texture into the new banknote that is easily distinguishable from the paper banknotes. Aside from the acclaimed Tubbataha Reef, the new P1,000 bill incorporates the country’s national flora and fauna symbols: the Philippine eagle and the Sampaguita flower.
Pretty soon, other notable features can be included in future polymer bills, such as Cebu that shows our Christian heritage and Zamboanga with its colorful vintas.