Economist-congressman Joey Salceda of Albay’s 2nd district is seeking clear guidelines from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on how to handle the new P1,000 polymer banknote.
Salceda, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, sent a letter to BSP Governor Felipe Medalla on Monday, July 11, asking him to clarify the guidelines on the validity of P1,000 polymer bills.
He questioned whether or not legal tender that’s made of polymer can lose its value once damaged.
“I understand that one of the primary motivations for shifting to the polymer-based bill was that it is more durable than the paper bills. However, the lack of guidelines on what constitutes still-valid legal tender and which bills are damaged beyond being acceptable by business establishments has led to confusion in ordinary cash transactions,” Salceda wrote.
In his letter, he also sought for BSP’s “remedial recourses cash-holders can resort to”, should their polymer bills no longer be acceptable to establishments.
“I understand that, with the paper bills at least, damaged bills could still be exchanged with banks and the BSP,” Salceda noted.
Social media users went abuzz after the BSP released a list of guidelines on how to properly handle the P1,000 polymer banknote last month.
Both businesses and consumers raised concerns on the list of “do’s” in using the bill, among which are keeping them flat and not excessively folding and crumping the bill.
Medalla drew flak from critcs for his suggestion to the public to get a longer-sized wallet so the “money won’t need to be folded”.
In his subsequent comments, Salceda asserted that the value of money should not be affected by its appearance.
“What matters is the validity of the promise embedded in the currency. That should determine the value,” he said.
“Money is fungible, so you should be able to exchange one bill with another and not lose value. One folded bill should be just as good as a bill not folded,” the lawmaker stressed.
Salceda added that if the polymer bills are more sensitive and less flexible than the paper bills, “The whole effort sort of defeats its own purpose, which is to make paper bills more durable.”
The congressman said that he has also scheduled a meeting with the BSP on the polymerization of other bills as well as their impact on the abaca sector. Abaca is used in some paper bills issued by the BSP.
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