January 17, 2010

Cory 500 bill nearing circulation

The long wait of collectors and followers of the late Cory Aquino is finally over as the government is nearing the issuance of the proposed five-hundred peso bill featuring the late president Corazon C. Aquino for circulation, a senior central bank official said.

The new legal tender secured approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) Monetary Board, the agency’s policy-making body, and MalacaƱang before the end of the year as part of the intended goal of the BSP to redesign our currency.

The new notes are expected to be in circulation before the year ends but special trials and special issues would become available to collectors before that date.

The BSP decided to overhaul designs of all bank notes to keep up with technological advances and to stay one step ahead of counterfeiters, Guinigundo said.

Other new bank note designs may include Philippine attractions such as the Banaue Rice Terraces, and the Underground River in Palawan, he hinted.

Currently, the front of the yellow P500 bank note features the image of Mrs. Aquino’s husband former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr.

The former senator’s assassination in 1983 triggered a series of protests that led to the EDSA 1 bloodless revolt that ousted then strongman Ferdinand Marcos from power in 1986.

Mrs. Aquino, a key figure in that revolt who sat as president until 1992, succumbed to colon cancer last August 1.

On Wednesday, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. was quoted as saying that the agency is considering honoring Mrs. Aquino by having her image on the P500 bill.

“Yes, I have asked the numismatic committee to consider the proposal to put up the portrait of former President Aquino in the P500 bill in designing our new generation currency notes," he said in a report.

The committee, led by Guinigundo, is composed of other central bank officials and historian Ambeth Ocampo as representative of the National Historical Commission.

Former BSP Governor Jaime Laya is a consultant.

Once the redesigns are complete, they will go through the Monetary Board and then sent to MalacaƱang for final approval.

“The notes will go to print upon approval by the President," Guindigundo said, adding that no new print has been previously rejected by a president.

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