THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) is looking at currency denominations that have seen low usage and asking as more and more people turn to online transactions, its chief said on Monday.

“As the sole currency issuer in the country, the BSP ensures the prompt and abundant supply of good quality banknotes and coins in the most cost-effective and efficient manner,” the governor of the country said on Monday. BSP, Benjamin E. Diokno, during a briefing.

He said the emergence of contactless payment technology has revolutionized retail payments and with it the use of cash.

“Changes in currency composition should be consistent with actual demand in response to changing circumstances such as electronic payment usage, changing prices, consumer preferences,” he said. “The use of banknotes and coins is expected to decrease off over time, especially low denomination currencies.

Mr Diokno cited the central bank’s issuance of P20 coins in 2019 to reduce the cost of replacing unfit 20-piso notes. The coin and banknote versions of the denomination remain in circulation, but the P20 note will be demonetized once the central bank runs out of materials for its printing.

Currently, the BSP issues six banknote denominations and seven coins.

The seven coin denominations are 1-sentimo, 5-sentimo, 25-sentimo, 1-piso, 5-piso, 10-piso, and 20-piso.

The six banknote denominations are 20-piso, 50-piso, 100-piso, 200-piso, 500-piso, and 1,000-piso.

Meanwhile, the BSP is currently conducting a pilot circulation of P1,000 polymer banknotes, with wider use targeted by 2023. Polymer banknotes are said to be more durable as they can last from 2.5 to four times compared to paper money, and are also water and dirt resistant.

The central bank continues to develop its monetary forecasting methods and capabilities in an effort to promote price stability and maintain the integrity of the Philippine currency, Diokno said.

These efforts include monitoring technological advancements in global payment systems, he said.

In addition to periodic reviews of its forecasting models, PASB also conducts specialized learning and development programs on currency forecasting and mandatory econometrics training for its team. — Keisha B. Ta-asan

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