Banknotes of the Philippine peso

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The front side of a two-hundred peso bill (New Generation Currency).

Banknotes of the Philippine peso are issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) for circulation in the Philippines. The smallest amount of legal tender in wide circulation is 20 peso and the largest is 1000 peso. The front side of each banknote features prominent people along with buildings, and events in the country's history while the reverse side depicts landmarks and animals. While the 5- and 10-peso denominations have been concurrently offered in coins in recent years, the 5- and 10-peso notes have not been demonetized.

History of Philippine banknotes[edit]

On May 1, 1852, the first commercial bank of the Philippines, El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel 2A issued the following denominations initially 10, 25, 50 and 200 pesos fuertes (strong pesos). They were used until 1896.

First Philippine Republic[edit]

The revolutionary republic of Emilio Aguinaldo ordered the issuance of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100-peso banknotes which were signed by Messrs. Pedro A. Paterno, Telesforo Chuidan and Mariano Limjap to avoid counterfeiting. However, only the 1 and 5-peso banknotes have been printed and circulated to some areas by the end of the short-lived First Republic.

Banknotes of the First Philippine Republic
Value Main Color Description Years of Circulation
Obverse Reverse
1 peso White Un Peso Republica Filipina.jpg 1899–1901
5 peso White 1899–1901

American Period[edit]

By 1903, the American colonial Insular Government had issued Silver Certificates in the denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 pesos, backed by silver coin or U.S. gold at a fixed rate of 2:1. In 1908, the El Banco Español Filipino was allowed to print banknotes in the following denominations with text in Spanish: Cinco (5), Diez (10), Veinte (20), Cincuenta (50), Cien (100) and Dos Cientos (200) Pesos. In 1912, the bank was renamed Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and henceforth issued the same banknotes in English.

In 1918, the Silver Certificates were replaced by the Treasury Certificates issued with government-backing of bonds issued by the United States Government in the following denominations: One, Two, Five, Ten, Twenty, Fifty, One Hundred and Five Hundred Pesos. In 1916, the Philippine National Bank (PNB) was created to administer the state-holding shares and print banknotes without any quota from the Philippine Assembly. They printed banknotes in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 peso denomination. During World War I, the PNB issued emergency notes printed on cardboard paper in the following denominations: 10, 20, 50 centavos and 1 peso. Also overprinted BPI Notes in Five, Ten and Twenty Pesos due to the lack of currency.

The Commonwealth of the Philippines issued Treasury Certificates with the seal of the new government but still circulated the BPI and PNB banknotes.

Banknotes of the Commonwealth of the Philippines
Value Main Color Description Years of Circulation
Obverse Reverse
₱1
₱2
₱5
₱10
₱20

Japanese Government-issued Philippine Fiat Peso[edit]

Banknotes issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas[edit]

English series[edit]

The banknotes first issued by today's Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (formerly the "Central Bank of the Philippines") were the VICTORY-CBP Overprints in 1949, which were merely overprints of older American-era banknotes. The first official banknote series to be printed were the English Series in 1951.

The English Series were Philippine banknotes that circulated from 1949 to 1969. It was the only banknote series of the Philippine peso to use English as the language.

English Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Year
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse First issue Withdrawal
Small denomination notes
5 centavos 5 centavos 5 centavos Red Bank title, bank seal, value, serial number "PHILIPPINES", value 1951 1958
10 centavos 10 centavos 10 centavos Maroon Bank title, bank seal, value, serial number "PHILIPPINES", value
20 centavos 20 centavos 20 centavos Green Bank title, bank seal, value, serial number "PHILIPPINES", value
50 centavos Blue Bank title, bank seal, value, serial number "PHILIPPINES", value
½ peso Green Mt. Mayon and three men riding on a carabao-drawn cart "PHILIPPINES", value 1958 1967
Large denomination notes
1 pesos ₱1 160 × 66 mm Gray Apolinario Mabini Barasoain Church 1951 1974
2 pesos ₱2 Blue José Rizal Landing of Ferdinand Magellan
5 pesos ₱5 Golden yellow Marcelo H. del Pilar and Graciano Lopez Jaena La Solidaridad
10 pesos ₱10 Brown Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora Urdaneta and Legaspi Monument
20 pesos ₱20 Orange Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto Kartilya ng Katipunan and the Balintawak Monument
50 pesos ₱50 Red Antonio Luna Blood compact between Sikatuna and Legaspi
100 pesos ₱100 Yellow Tandang Sora Regimental flags and the Katipunan veterans
200 pesos ₱200 Green Manuel L. Quezon Legislative Building 1957
500 pesos ₱500 Violet Manuel A. Roxas Former Central Bank Building

Pilipino series[edit]

The Pilipino series banknotes is the name used to refer to Philippine banknotes issued by the Central Bank of the Philippines from 1969 to 1973, during the term of President Ferdinand Marcos. It was succeeded by the Ang Bagong Lipunan Series of banknotes, to which it shared a similar design. The lowest denomination of the series is 1-piso and the highest is 100-piso.

This series represented a radical change from the English series. The bills underwent Filipinization and a design change.

Pilipino Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Year
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse First issue Withdrawal
1 pesos ₱1 160 × 66 mm Blue José Rizal Declaration of Philippine Independence 1967 1974
5 pesos ₱5 Green Andres Bonifacio Sanduguan or Blood Compact of the Katipuneros
10 pesos ₱10 Brown Apolinario Mabini Barasoain Church
20 pesos ₱20 Orange Manuel L. Quezon Malacañan Palace
50 pesos ₱50 Red Sergio Osmeña Legislative Building
100 pesos ₱100 Violet Manuel A. Roxas Former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Building

Ang Bagong Lipunan series[edit]

The Ang Bagong Lipunan series (literally, ”The New Society Series") is the name used to refer to Philippine banknotes issued by the Central Bank of the Philippines from 1973 to 1985. It was succeeded by the New Design series of banknotes. The lowest denomination of the series is 2-piso and the highest is 100-piso.

After the declaration of Proclamation № 1081 by President Ferdinand Marcos on September 23, 1972, the Central Bank was to demonetize the existing banknotes in 1974, pursuant to Presidential Decree 378. All the unissued Pilipino Series banknotes (except one peso banknote) were sent back to the De La Rue plant in London for overprinting the watermark area with the words "ANG BAGONG LIPUNAN" and oval geometric safety design. The one peso bill was replaced with the two peso bill, which features the same elements of the demonetized Pilipino series one peso bill.

On September 7, 1978, the Security Printing Plant in Quezon City was inaugurated to produce the banknotes.

The banknotes were still legal tender even after the introduction of the New Design Series banknotes, however it is seldom used after the EDSA Revolution.[1] The banknotes were eventually demonetized on February 2, 1993 (but can still be exchange with legal tender currency to the Central Bank until February 2, 1996)[2] after clamors that the banknotes can be used to buy votes for the 1992 Presidential Elections.[3]

Ang Bagong Lipunan (New Society) Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Year
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse First issue Withdrawal
2 pesos 2 pesos ₱2 160 × 66 mm Blue José Rizal Declaration of Philippine Independence 1973 1993
5 pesos ₱5 Green Andres Bonifacio Blood Compact of the Katipuneros
10 pesos 10 pesos ₱10 Brown Apolinario Mabini Barasoain Church
20 pesos 20 pesos ₱20 Orange Manuel L. Quezon Malacañan Palace
50 pesos ₱50 Red Sergio Osmeña Legislative Building
100 pesos ₱100 Violet Manuel A. Roxas BSP Complex

New Design/BSP series[edit]

By 1983, the Committee was deciding the issuing of new banknotes to replace the Ang Bagong Lipunan Series by issuing seven new banknotes consisting of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000-peso banknotes.

On June 12, 1985, the Central Bank issued the New Design Series starting with a new 5-peso banknote with the face of Emilio Aguinaldo. The following months, a new 10-peso banknote with the face of Apolinario Mabini. In early 1986, a new 20-peso banknote appeared. After the 1986 People Power Revolution[1][4] and the new 1987 Constitution was promulgated, the Central Bank issued a new 50, 100- and for the second time a new 500-peso banknote with the face of Benigno Aquino, Jr.. In 1991, the Central Bank issued for the first time a new 1000-peso banknote, containing the portraits of José Abad Santos, Josefa Llanes Escoda and Vicente Lim.

After the passage of the New Central Bank Act of 1993, the New Design Series, which was initiated in 1985, was slightly changed because of new seal of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. In 1998, the 100,000-peso Centennial banknote, measuring 8.5"x14", accredited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest legal tender note. It was issued in very limited quantity during the celebration of the Centennial of Philippine Independence. In 2001, the Bangko Sentral issued upgraded 1000, 500, and 100-peso banknotes with new hi-tech security features to combat counterfeiting. During the Estrada Administration, the practice in use since the Commonwealth, of reproducing the signature of the President of the Philippines over the legend "President of the Philippines" was abandoned in favor of explicitly stating the president's name. In 2002, the Bangko Sentral issued a new 200-peso banknote with the security features found on the upgraded 1000, 500, and 100-peso banknotes and has the face of former President Diosdado Macapagal. His daughter, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is at the back of the 200-peso banknote which showed her being sworn into office at the EDSA Shrine. She is the first president whose image has been included in a banknote while in office since emergency currency was issued by various provincial currency boards during World War II.

The series was renamed the BSP Series in 1993 when the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas was reestablished as the central monetary authority. These banknotes continue to be legal tender but will eventually be phased out.

The New Design Series has less security features. (only the visible fibers, value panel, security thread and watermark.)

The BSP Series has added more security features such as another glossy security thread, iridescent strip, fluorescent printing, optically variable ink, and microprints.[5]

These banknotes are still legal tender with the New Generation Currency series.

Philippine New Design/BSP Series
Image Value Dimensions
(millimetres)
Main Colour Design Year
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse First Issue Withdrawal
Php bill 5 front.jpg Php bill 5 back.jpg ₱5 160 × 66 Green Emilio Aguinaldo, Aguinaldo Shrine historical marker Declaration of Philippine Independence, 1898 1985
Php note 10 front.jpg Php bill 10 back.jpg ₱10 160 × 66 Brown Apolinario Mabini, 1899 Malolos Constitution Barasoain Church 1985
Php bill 10 front.jpg Php bill 10 back.jpg ₱10 160 × 66 Brown Apolinario Mabini, Andres Bonifacio, 1899 Malolos Constitution, Kartilla ng Katipunan Barasoain Church, Blood Compact of the Katipuneros 1997
Php bill 20 front.jpg ₱20 160 × 66 Orange Manuel L. Quezon, 1935 Philippine Commonwealth Malacañan Palace 1986
₱50 160 × 66 Red Sergio Osmeña Old Congress Building, Manila 1986
Php bill 100 front.jpg ₱100 160 × 66 Violet Manuel A. Roxas, Inauguration of the Third Philippine Republic Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas compound in Manila 1986
₱200 160 × 66 Green Diosdado P. Macapagal, Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite EDSA People Power 2001 2002
Php bill 500 front.jpg ₱500 160 × 66 Yellow Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., BSAJ typewritter Aquino as a journalist for the Manila Times (in front of an article about "1st Cav"), Study Now, Pay Later education program, Concepcion, Tarlac town hall, Tarlac Provincial Capitol, 1986 People Power Revolution.[1][4] 1987
Php bill 1000 front.jpg ₱1000 160 × 66 Blue José Abad Santos, Vicente Lim, Josefa Llanes Escoda; eternal flame Banaue Rice Terraces, Manunggul Jar cover and Langgal. 1991

New Generation Currency series[edit]

In 2009, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas announced that it will launch a massive redesign for the banknotes and coins to further enhance security features and to improve durability.[6] The members of the numismatic committee included Bangko Sentral Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo and Dr. Ambeth Ocampo, chairman of the National Historical Institute. Designed by Studio 5 Designs and Design Systemat, the new banknotes' designs features famous Filipinos and iconic natural wonders. Philippine national symbols will be depicted on coins. The BSP started releasing the initial batch of new banknotes in December 2010. On December 16, 2010, the new design for Philippine banknotes were released. The use font for letter was myriad and the numbers are Tw Cen font.[7]

Philippine New Generation Currency series
Image Value Dimensions
(millimetres)
Main Colour Design Year of First Issue
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
New PHP20 Banknote (Obverse).jpg New PHP20 Banknote (Reverse).jpg ₱20 160 × 66 Orange Manuel L. Quezon, Declaration of Filipino as the national language, Malacañan Palace Banaue Rice Terraces; Paradoxurus hermaphroditus philippinensis, Palm civet; Cordilleras weave design 2010
New PHP50 Banknote (Obverse).jpg New PHP50 Banknote (Reverse).jpg ₱50 160 × 66 Red Sergio Osmeña, First Philippine Assembly, Leyte Landing Taal Lake in Batangas; Caranx ignobilis, maliputo (Giant trevally); Batangas embroidery design 2010
New PHP100 Banknote (Obverse).jpg New PHP100 Banknote (Reverse).jpg ₱100 160 × 66 Violet Manuel A. Roxas, Old BSP building in Intramuros, Manila, Inauguration of the Third Philippine Republic Mayon Volcano in Albay; butanding, Rhincodon typus, whale shark; Bicol textile design 2010
New PHP200 Banknote (Obverse).jpg New PHP200 Banknote (Reverse).jpg ₱200 160 × 66 Green Diosdado P. Macapagal, EDSA People Power 2001, Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite, Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan

Chocolate Hills in Bohol; Tarsius syrichta, Philippine tarsier; Visayas weave design

2010
New PHP500 Banknote (Obverse).jpg New PHP500 Banknote (Reverse).jpg ₱500 160 × 66 Yellow Corazon C. Aquino, Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., EDSA People Power I, Benigno Aquino monument in Makati City

Subterranean Underground River in Puerto Princesa, Palawan; Tanygnathus lucionensis, blue-naped parrot; Southern Philippines cloth design

2010
New PHP1000 Banknote (Obverse).jpg New PHP1000 Banknote (Reverse).jpg ₱1000 160 × 66 Blue José Abad Santos, Vicente Lim, Josefa Llanes Escoda; Centennial celebration of Philippine independence; Philippine Medal of Honor

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in Sulu Sea; Pinctada maxima, South Sea pearl; Mindanao design for Tinalak (Ikat-dyed abaca)

2010

Errors[edit]

Several errors have been discovered on banknotes of the New Generation series and have become the subject of ridicule in social networking sites. Among these are the exclusion of Batanes from the Philippine map on the reverse of all denominations, the mislocation of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean Underground River on the reverse of the 500-peso bill and the Tubbataha Reef on the 1000-peso bill, and the incorrect coloring on the beak and feathers of the blue-naped parrot on the 500-peso bill.[8][9] The scientific names of the animals featured on the reverse sides of all banknotes were incorrectly rendered as well.[10]

According to Design Systemat, the designers of the new bills, that drafts prepared by the company of the new 500-peso bill shows a red beak of the Blue-naped parrot. This color was changed by the printers to account for practical printing concerns. The designers further explains that printing banknotes is not like printing brochures. Due to the intalgio printing and limited printing capability of banknote printers, it can only produce a limited full color reproduction.

The alleged mislocation of the Tubbataha Reef on the one thousand peso note was due to a security feature, a smaller version of the featured species on the bills' reverse (which is also featured on all banknote denominations) was located on top of the exact location of the Tubbataha Reef on the map. Giving the option of either moving the key security feature on the standard position or locating the Tubbataha marker correctly, the bills' French printers, Oberthur Technologies, decided to move the reef marker slightly south on the Philippine map.[11]

Higher denominations[edit]

Philippine Centennial led by Fidel V. Ramos (Reverse side of the commemorative 2000 peso bill)

The Central Bank of the Philippines (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) issued only 300,000 pieces of this 216mmx133mm 2,000 Philippine peso centennial commemorative legal tender banknote. Another version, with the same design but measured at 160 x 66mm, was also planned to be issued as legal tender in 2001, but due to the ouster of President Joseph Estrada as the result of the Second EDSA revolution (EDSA People Power II), the notes were stored in the vaults of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. As of 2010, the bank was considering destroying the bulk of the unissued notes (known as the "New Millennium" or "Erap" notes), saving only 50,000 of the five million pieces to be demonetized for "historical, educational, numismatic, or other purposes". However it was not until 2012 that the bank began selling this numismatic product in a folder that clearly stipulates that the notes are not legal tender.[12]

The obverse side features President Joseph Estrada taking his oath of office on June 30, 1998 in the historic Barasoain Church, the seat of the first democratic republic in Asia shown in the background as well as the scroll of the Malolos Constitution and the seal of the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas).

The reverse side depicts the re-enactment of the declaration of Philippine Independence at the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898 by President Fidel V. Ramos and also features the Philippine Centennial Commission logo.

The security features of the note include a 3-dimensional cylinder mold-made portrait watermark of the two presidents and the years 1898–1998, iridescent band, color-shift windowed security thread, latent image and perfect see-through register.

The 100,000-peso centennial note, measuring 8.5"x14", is accredited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest legal tender note in terms of size. 1,000 pieces were issued during the celebration of the centennial of Philippine independence in 1998.[13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]