Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The deadline set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for exchanging old banknotes to the new series ends tomorrow, March 31. After that date, the old bills will have no value, will not be accepted for transactions, and will no longer be accepted by banks.
The BSP began its demonetization program in 2010 with the launch of the new banknotes called New Generation Currency (NGC). These have updated security features, designs and colors. The original schedule for the full demonetization of the New Design Series banknotes that were launched over two decades ago was Jan. 1, 2017 but the BSP’s Monetary Board extended the deadline to April 1, 2017 due to “public clamor for more time to exchange or replace old banknotes.”
Starting April 1, 2017, only the NGC banknotes can be used in daily transactions.
BSP data indicates that as of the end of November, 8.86 percent of 295.7 million pieces of the 3.34 billion banknotes in circulation are NDS banknotes. This is valued at around P23.3 billion, comprising a mere 2.4 percent of the P979.9 billion in the system.
Filipinos who still have those old banknotes in their possession have one more day left before those notes become worthless pieces of paper. The BSP has instructed banks to replace the old banknotes from those exchanging them even if they are not customers and has even warned of penalties for banks that refuse to trade old bills with new ones. Unless the BSP extends the deadline further, that opportunity ends tomorrow.
The extended deadline gives those of us who have the habit of been keeping money the chance to do one final check and go over the usual places where we keep money to search for NDS banknotes while banks can still exchange them for NGC banknotes. Check your bauls, under your beds, take a look inside your drawers and open envelopes to make sure stray pieces of the soon to be demonetized NDS banknotes haven’t been left behind.
After tomorrow, finding random money might no longer be a pleasant surprise but an expensive lesson in demonetization. Let’s make sure we don’t learn that lesson the hard and expensive way.*