BSP reminds public on end-December ’16 deadline to swap old paper bills



MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Wednesday reminded the public about the December 31, 2016 deadline to swap holdings of New Design Series (NDS) paper bills.

In a briefing, BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said about 10.5 percent of paper bills in circulation to date belong to the NDS and these amounted to about P26.1 billion.

In terms of pieces, the number of NDS that are currently in use total to about 305.4 million.

The central bank started to remind the public about the demonetization of NDS in 2015, five years after it issued bills included in the Generation Currencies (NGCs).

NDS were issued since 1985 and had monetary value only until December 31, 2015.

Holders of NDS can still exchange NDS paper bills at face value in banks, the Cash Department of the BSP and the various BSP offices nationwide.

The BSP has extended the deadline for swapping of NDS for banks that have old series paper bills deposited to them and for Offices of Municipal/City/Provincial Treasurers.

From the end-December 2016 initial deadline authorized agent banks and the treasurers of local government units (LGUs) are allowed to exchange NDS until March 31, 2017.

Clerks of Courts and law enforcement agencies were also given an extension to swap their NDS from end-December 2016 to January 31, 2017.

“NDS notes that are subject of court cases can be exchanged within six months after the corresponding legal cases have been terminated,” the BSP said in a statement.

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are also allowed to swap their NDS holdings outside of the period given to the public.

OFWs are required to register their NDS holdings with the central bank through online application at starting October 1 this year. The NDS holdings can be swapped within a year after the registration.

OFWs are allowed to swap up to P50,000 worth of NDS holdings in line with the 11th foreign exchange liberalization of the central bank.

“For those who are situated in war torn countries, the deadline for exchange is extended to 31 December 2017. There is no need for them to register,” the BSP said.

As of October 17, there are about 30 OFWs who have registered their NDS holdings with the central bank.

The latest demonetization of old series paper bills is being done three decades after the central bank issued the NDS.

Under Section 57 of Republic Act (RA) No. 7653 or the New Central Bank Act, the BSP may replace notes of any series that are more than five years old and coins that are more than 10 years old.

The BSP defines demonetization as “the process of removing the monetary value of a legal tender currency by the issuing authority.”

Demonetized currencies will no longer be accepted for payment of goods and services.

Guinigundo said only paper bills are included in the latest demonetization.

“It was deliberate on our part to separate demonetization of bills and coins at the same time,” he explained.

The central bank official said they have also started to study the possibility of limiting the denominations currently issued.

“We have assessed the need to streamline the number of denominations that we have,” he said, citing that any decision on this will be based on demand.

Guinigundo, however, declined to elaborate.