Philippine Peso Coins and Banknotes

Philippine Coins and Banknotes

20 Piso Banknote - 25 years, 6 presidents

Even though our 20 peso bill design was practically unchanged for 25 years since 1985, it has borne the signature of six Philippine Presidents and five central bank governors. Indeed, banknotes are witnesses to, and themselves artifacts of, our Nation's history.

We thank our blog reader and fellow banknote collector, reyn, for contributing the images below that display the signatures of all six presidents since Ferdinand Marcos.


1 Peso Commemorative Coin - 150 years Jose Rizal

One Piso Commemorative Coin
150 years Jose Rizal Birth Anniversary

Obverse: Jose Rizal, "150 years," "Republika ng Pilipinas," "1861-2011"
Reverse: logo of the Bankgo Sentral ng Pilipinas, "1 Piso," "2011"

Shape: round
Edge: reeded
Material: nickel-plated steel

Weight: 5.35 grams
Diameter: 24 mm

Mintage: 10 million
Designer: Emerson Rg Abraham.

This is the first legal tender coin to bear the new logo of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

500 Peso Spoof - Ninoy Aquino Smiles!

Merry Christmas!
As we commemorate the day of Jesus' birth, would like to extend its wishes of joy to everyone.

Let us not spare Ninoy Aquino on the 500 peso banknote. His worried composure has no place in this time of rejoicing. Even the stars blink with joy!

(larger animated version)

Share the joy with your friends! Email this to them.

Fluorescent Marks - New Generation Currency

Fluorescent marks are the invisible phosphor dyes on banknotes that glow under UV or blacklight. Fluorescent prints are among the security features used in currency to deter counterfeiting (although counterfeiters are already able to imitate them). These are what cashiers look for when they hold down a banknote under a "counterfeit detector" which is actually a small black light.

These marks are not new, in fact we have previously written about fluorescent printing. However the New Generation Currency have interesting fluorescent marks that are worth another feature.

[photos and details removed per request of BSP]

Bonus trivia! Did you know Philippine passports conceal intricate and beautiful fluorescent marks, many of which are also found on Philippine Banknotes? Among them are Malacanang Palace, Mayon Volcano, Chocolate Hills, Barasoain Church, Sampaguita, and Sarao Jeepney.

Antibacterial Banknotes

It’s not hard to imagine just how dirty banknotes are. They are exchanged from one dirty hand to another, get dirty wet in markets, fall on dirty soil, and come in contact with other dirty money. We fold them, crease them, roll them, crumple them, even split them in half, thus wearing out their structure and providing more attachment surface for bacteria and fungi. No matter how dirty they become, we never throw them away nor even attempt to disinfect them with Lysol or alcohol. We just keep using them and they get dirtier and dirtier. It will not be surprising if someone can prove that banknotes are significant mediums for the spread of contagious diseases among people. Someone even said that banknotes should carry a government health warning.

It is good to know that the New Generation Currency of the Philippines is printed with Bioguard technology by Arjowiggins. Bioguard produces banknotes that are treated to prevent bacteria from multiplying. The anti-bacterial property has been tested to resist washing and will last throughout the lifetime of the banknote.

Here is a screenshot from their slideshow showing the difference between treated and untreated paper 24 hours after inoculation with E. coli bacteria.

How did they do this? They don’t say how, but most likely the banknote paper is treated with metallic ions which are known to have a wide range of antibacterial properties. Most notable among these ions is silver although copper, zinc, and other ions may also have been used. These ions inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi.

So now, could we rub our hands on our banknotes instead of washing before eating? Maybe not, unless you’re willing to hold the banknote and let your food wait for 24 hours. But still this is a welcome feature to keep our banknotes cleaner and safer for the public.