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Bangko Sentral: Don't 'mutilate' peso bills and coins

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said on Friday that it is unlawful to deface, mutilate, tear, burn, or destroy the peso bills and coins.

The central bank issued the statement supposedly after "a video of the burning of what appears to be Philippine banknotes has come to the attention of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

"The BSP is currently investigating this incident for appropriate action," it said.

The BSP reminds the public that it is unlawful to willfully deface, mutilate, tear, burn or destroy, in any manner whatsoever, currency notes and coins issued by the BSP, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 247.

Under Presidential Decree No. 247, people who violate the law on damaging peso bills and coins face a fine of not more than P20,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years.

"Likewise, it is prohibited to reproduce or imitate the facsimiles of Bangko Sentral notes without prior authority from the BSP. The BSP is authorized to investigate, make arrests, conduct searches, and seizures in accordance with law, for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of the currency, the central bank said.

The public at large should take pride in Philippine banknotes that honor Filipinos who played significant roles at various moments in the country's history, as well as depict the country's s world heritage sites and iconic natural wonders, it said.

"The Philippine banknotes remain a constant reminder of our ancestors’ patriotism and bravery, as well as centuries of journey for a better future for our countrymen," the central bank noted. — VDS, GMA News