January 23, 2009

Ilocos Norte residents warn on P1-coin hoax

The Bankers’ Association in Ilocos Norte are warning the public not to believe rumors that a one-peso coin could be exchanged for a higher amount of cash.

The bankers’ advisory came out as rumors spread in the area that a one-peso coin dated 2004 could be exchanged in banks for P20.

Ronald Mandac, Bankers’ Association director, said that there were many who believed in the rumor and flocked to banks asking how their coins can be exchanged. He also said there was no directive from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on the supposed exchange issue.

Mandac said however that he believes the issue is related to another rumor which said that the 2004 one-peso coin supposedly contains silver and bronze.

Authorities claimed that not only a few residents of Laoag City collected 2004 one-peso coins hoping that it would be exchanged for the higher amount of cash.

Similar rumors have been spreading most likely in the rural areas not only of the present day one-peso denomination. Rizal head peso minted during the time of President Marcos, known to many as "The Large Peso" has its own version of myth.

Some says that Marcos hid his gold on these coins, the reason why the coin has its yellowish color. Most likely, they added "it can be found in coins dating 1971", which is actually a non-existent date.

Even the 10-peso is not spared from the series of gossips. Some speculate that the core of the coin has gold in it, and the metal is abundant only in the coin minted in the year 2000.

The millennium peso is scarce though, but BSP officials assure that there is no gold in it.

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