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BSP explains why P20 bill is missing from new 'enhanced' banknotes

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Wednesday unveiled the "enhanced" new generation currency (NGC) banknotes. But noticeably missing from the denominations presented was the P20 banknote.

According to BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, the central bank is still producing P20 banknotes, but it is just using up the available raw materials for the denomination.

"We are still producing the 20-piso banknote until the inventory of raw materials for this denomination is totally used up," he told reporters in a virtual briefing.

To recall, the BSP in December 2019 launched the P20 NGC coin, which will in time replace the banknote of the same denomination currently in circulation.

Diokno then said that coins are more durable than the banknotes, which will give the country more in terms of cost savings in the long run.

The latest banknotes - which come in P50, P100, P200, P500, and P1,000 denominations - were improved from those launched in 2010 and feature the latest anti-counterfeiting technologies and were improved to cater to the elderly and visually impaired.

On Wednesday, the central bank clarified that the enhanced banknotes will continue to coexist with the previously launched NGC notes, which will in time be removed through natural attrition.

"The enhanced NGC banknotes shall co-exist with the NGC banknotes currently in circulation. These NGC banknotes shall be gradually replaced with the enhanced banknotes and be removed from circulation through natural attrition," it said.

At present, the BSP produces majority of the Philippine banknotes, and outsources the production beyond the local capacity.

"The BSP outsources only the quantity of banknotes that need to be produced beyond what our facilities can internally print," said Diokno.

"I have recently instructed our people at the BSP to come up with a roadmap so that we will produce all our banknote requirements in the country," he added. -MDM, GMA News