The Philippine Currency

September 2, 2021

An overview of the past

Philippine history is sometimes divided into the several colonial periods that the country has experienced. Similarly, Philippine money can be categorised over time based on the colonial power in power at the moment.

Whereas the islands of pre-colonial Philippines maintained mediums of exchange such as gold beads and cowrie shells, the country did not adopt paper money in the form of pesos fuertes until the Spanish Era. After the 1898 Declaration of Independence, a brief revolutionary era resulted in the creation of a short-lived revolutionary money, which was revoked shortly after the arrival of the Americans.

Banknotes were constantly converted from Spanish to English during colonial American administration in the first half of the 1900s, and the peso was then valued at half of a US dollar. When the Japanese colonized the Philippines in the mid-nineteenth century, so much money was put into circulation that the fiat peso was dubbed “Mickey Mouse money” because of the limited purchasing power it had owing to inflation.

Today’s Philippine Peso

The Philippine peso, shortened as PHP in international exchange markets, is the country’s official currency. The Filipino word for peso is “piso.” The Philippine peso is made up of 100 centavos, or “sentimos” in Filipino, and is frequently symbolized by the sign.

The 20 peso bill, the 50 peso bill, the 100 peso bill, the 200 peso bill, the 500 peso bill, and the 1,000 peso bill are the six banknotes currently in use in the Philippines. All are dressed in brilliant colors and depict depictions of important individuals and events in Philippine history, as well as endemic fauna, scenery, and natural wonders. The bills have a little rough texture and are 80 percent cotton and 20 percent abaca. While they are similar in size, they are distinguished by their vibrant hues of orange, red, purple, green, yellow, and pale blue.

New Generation Currency Banknote Series

The New Model Currency, the most recent banknote design series, was released in 2010 and only became the official series in circulation last year, when the New Design Series, which had been in circulation since 1985, was demonetized after June 2017.

Coins from the former BSP Coin Series and the New Generation Currency Coin Series coexist at the moment. The entire set of newer coins was released in March 2018, with the official launch scheduled for July. The 1-sentimo, 5-sentimo, and 25-sentimo (cents) coins, as well as the 1-piso, 5-piso, and 10-peso coins, make up the set. The previous series, which began in 1995 and remained legal tender until the central bank announced otherwise, included the same denominations as well as a 10-sentimo coin, which was dropped from the new series.

8 Facts About the Philippine Currency 

The peso is not the sole currency used in the Philippines

The Spanish peso was worth eight pieces of real, the money of the Spanish Empire, in the 16th century. As a result, most of the Spanish empire’s colonies adopted the currency, despite certain countries rejecting it. Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, the Philippines, and Uruguay are the only countries that still utilize the peso.

From 1861 until 1868, the name “Filipinas” appeared on the coins for the very first time

The Spanish invaders struck these coins in values of 1, 2, and 4 pesos, making them the first series of Philippine currency. To reflect the country’s archipelagic origin, the name “Filipinas” was changed to “Islas Filipinas” in 1897. Until their departure in 1898, this was the last currency issued by the Spanish dominion in the Philippines.

Do you know what “Mickey Mouse money” is?

When the Philippines was occupied by Japanese forces during World War II, the occupiers produced fiat currency, which became the currency of the people. Hyperinflation resulted because the value of money is exclusively determined by the Japanese government’s edict. The Japanese-issued currency was dubbed “Mickey Mouse money” because its worth was so low that it could be mistaken for play money.

How about “guerilla pesos”

Although being under Japanese authority, more than two dozen local administrations demonstrated their independence by printing emergency circulation notes that could be exchanged for silver pesos after the war. People who didn’t want to use Japanese-issued money turned to these crudely made bills as their preferred currency. President Jose P. Laurel outlawed emergency money and strengthened the government’s monopoly on the Philippine currency in reaction to guerilla pesos.

According to historical revisionists, the peso was at its strongest versus the dollar under the Marcos administration

The statistics from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, on the other hand, contradicts this. The peso-dollar exchange rate was around P3.90 when the late strongman took over following Diosdado Macapagal. During the Marcoses’ two-decade reign of terror, the peso’s value steadily declined. The Philippine peso had depreciated to roughly P20.46 by the time they left in February 1986.

Do you ever wonder why folks don’t always have enough coins to make change?

That’s not because there aren’t enough coins in the country; according to the BSP, there are more than enough coins for every Filipino residing in the country right now. Savings accounts for a large portion of the country’s 24.5 billion coins, which are kept in piggy banks, jars, and other receptacles. As a result, the central bank encourages people to deposit their coins in banks rather than keeping them at home, so that they can circulate freely.

Although piggy banks are legal, they are strongly discouraged.

However, melting coins for repurposing is considered smuggling and is banned. It is “unlawful for any person to wilfully deface, mutilate, rip, burn, or destroy, in any manner whatsoever, monetary notes and coins issued by the Central Bank of the Philippines,” according to Presidential Decree 247. After being discovered smuggling coins to be melted for bath fittings in 2009, one businessman received a taste of this.

Money collectors got a new addition to their collection in 2007 thanks to a spelling error.

The central bank missed a spelling mistake on former President Gloria Macapagal-name Arroyo’s when manufacturing 100-peso bills: instead of Arroyo, the money had Arrovo. Unfortunately, the problem was discovered after roughly 1,000 pieces had already been produced and distributed. Collectors are currently in possession of these rare notes.