Press Release
January 2, 2018

...says BSP needs to conduct massive info drive to prepare public

Senator Nancy Binay today reiterated her call to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to delay the issuance of new coins for at least four months, or until April 2018.

According to Binay, the deferment of the release of new generation coins will give BSP enough time to conduct an extensive nationwide information campaign about the New Generation Currency (NGC) coins, and for the public and merchants to be aware of the differences.

BSP is set to release other coin denominations of the NGC series on January 18, 2018.

"The concerns raised over the NGCs, especially the new P5-coin, are all legitimate. What we're asking the BSP is to first elevate the level of awareness of the public through mass media and to use all information channels until April. This would give everyone enough time to prepare for the changes," Binay noted.

In December last year, the senator called on the BSP to stop the release of the new P5-coin to quell further public confusion since it has an uncanny resemblance to the old P5-coin.

"Wag naman sanang maging unreasonable ang BSP. The P5 coins directly impact commuters, MRT/LRT riders, sari-sari stores, senior citizens and much more on people who have low-vision issues because of their confusing appearance," she added.

Incompatibility with coin-operated machines particularly ticket vending machines (TVMs) for the "Beep" cards of the MRT/LRT is seen to affect a significant number of riders.

Merchants claim that it will take a minimum of three months to update the firmware of TVMs and other vending machines which are usually reconfigured overseas.

"May malaking epekto ang mga bagong barya lalo na sa bus at jeep. Dahil nga sa mas malamang magkakalituhan sa panunukli, pwede silang malugi o yung mga pasahero nila ang maperwisyo. Takaw-aksidente din dahil prone to distractive driving. The drivers' eyes should be on the road because it's their job to convey their passengers safely---di nila trabaho ang mag-sort out ng coins," she stressed.

Binay further explained that majority of the public who commute and those in the transport sector are the ones to be inconvenienced by the circulation of the NGC series.

"The likely scenario will either be that you are shortchanged or paid extra---masakit sa bulsa yun because the difference in the value between the P5 coin and P1 is big," Binay pointed out.

Binay even asked the BSP if the Numismatic Committee ever considered the behavioral change the new coins will create, and if there was any study on coinage circulation.

And since the old coins and the new coins will co-exist together for an interminable period, it will definitely be a hassle and costly to those who rely heavily on coins.

"Dapat magkaroon ng posters sa lahat ng tindahan, tricycle at bus terminals, palengke, supermarkets, karinderya, loob ng jeep, mga canteen, vending machines at lahat ng mga establishments. What we're asking is only four months of public information drive to avoid that head-spinning head-scratching ordeal for consumers and merchants. Let's attend to the small change to hold off a big headache," Binay added.

According to the BSP, there are 28 billion assorted coins currently in circulation.

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