Do you have a P1,000 polymer bill? Don’t bend it and other do’s and don’ts



MANILA, Philippines—Is it time to ditch the habit of folding banknotes?

Recently, a netizen shared her dismay online after a popular mall in the country allegedly refused to accept a 1,000 peso folded polymer banknote which she used for a transaction.

Although the original social media post is no longer accessible, it was reposted by many other social media users and pages and instantly went viral.

“Do not store new [1,000-peso bill]! According [the mall’s] management, there should be no creases,” Facebook user Reylen Lopez said in Filipino on the original social media post.

“I had to use [the banknote] for payment, but the mall did not accept it. We were not informed beforehand. Am I the only one who doesn’t know?”

In this article, will tell you how to avoid being in the same scenario as the internet user by detailing how to properly handle the new P1,000 polymer banknote.

The article will also look at what makes a banknote unfit for circulation and what people can do with the money that is rejected in establishments due to poor conditions.

How to properly handle polymer banknotes?

Unlike the country’s existing paper banknotes, which are made of a paper substrate with a mixture of 20% abaca and 80% cotton, the P1,000 banknote released in April is made of polymer .

“It’s no longer paper, it’s plastic,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Mamerto Tangonan said.

According to the BSP, polymer banknotes are durable and can last longer than paper banknotes. However, the P1,000 polymer banknote requires better maintenance so that it can last longer.

According to BSP guidelines, here is how to properly handle polymer banknotes:
Keep bills flat: Place polymer bills in wallets that are long enough for the bills to fit properly.
KEEP THEM CLEAN: Clean dirty or soiled polymer banknotes with a damp cloth. The surface can also be cleaned using alcohol-based disinfectants, but should be immediately wiped with a dry cloth afterwards.
Use them as payment for goods and services: don’t hoard polymer bills. It is also forbidden to buy or sell them at higher prices.

What you should not do

As with paper banknotes, people should remember these things not to do when handling P1,000 polymer banknotes:

  1. Do not deface, write or mark new tickets.
  2. Do not excessively bend, crease or crease polymer banknotes as they may leave permanent marks.
  3. Do not tear, cut or puncture it.
  4. Do not staple or use rubber bands to hold polymer bills together. Use strips of paper instead.
  5. Do not damage transparent windows, metal elements and other security features of polymer banknotes.
  6. Do not iron polymer banknotes.
  7. Do not expose them to very high temperatures and do not place them near an open flame.
  8. Do not expose polymer banknotes to strong or corrosive chemicals such as hydrochloric acid or bleach.

Under Presidential Decree No. 247, it is prohibited for anyone to willfully deface, mutilate, tear, burn or destroy, in any way whatsoever, banknotes and coins issued by the BSP (again the Central Bank of Philippines when the decree was issued). ).

“[A]Anyone who violates this decree will, upon conviction, be punished with a fine of up to twenty thousand pesos (20,000 pesos) and/or imprisonment for up to five years,” he added. .


However, according to BSP Mindanao Regional Office Bank Officer Dorothy Joy Diaz, it is not a big deal if the note was inadvertently damaged.

“If it’s not intentional, that’s fine, but if it’s done on purpose, like you did out of curiosity, it’s punishable,” Diaz said.

READ: BSP: New P1000 note worth only P1000

BSP encourages the public to report any information of mishandling of Philippine currency to the nearest police station or law enforcement agency for appropriate action, or to contact the currencies for assistance at the following phone numbers: 988-4833 and 926-5092.

What if it’s wrinkled, wrinkled?

BSP Governor Felipe Medalla said in a report, “One thing to sort out is having a wallet or purses that prevent it from being totally folded. The wallet should be at least the same length as the banknote so that it cannot bend.

But what if the polymer note is accidentally creased or creased?

The BSP recommended applying pressure or flattening the ticket with the hands. It can also be placed between the pages of a book to straighten it or flatten wrinkled or creased areas.

However, it is a different case if the polymer banknote is totally bent or excessively creased or creased.

Unsuitable banknotes

When polymer banknotes, as well as paper banknotes, are excessively bent, creased, and creased, they can have visible and permanent crease marks.

In a report, BSP officials reportedly said that folded polymer banknotes are considered unsuitable for recirculation.

Although notes can still be accepted, officials have suggested depositing them or having them exchanged at the bank.

Based on BSP’s Philippine Currency Fitness Guide, there are several visual banknote fitness criteria that are considered unsuitable for recirculation.


Among the visual description of banknotes that fall under the criteria of unsuitable for recirculation, we can cite:

  1. Dirt or the presence or accumulation of dirt or any substance on the surface of the banknote that may cause discoloration or aging of the substrate.
  2. Obvious and visible marks or stains on the surface of the banknote, including drawings, writings, ink stamps and oil stains.
  3. Crumpled or soft appearance.
  4. Apparent discoloration of any design on the banknote.
  5. Presence of significant creases due to creasing or folding of the banknote.

During this time, a ticket is considered mutilated if it matches any of the following visual descriptions:

  1. Any obvious or visible breakage, hole or loss of any part of the ticket.
  2. Presence of adhesives – tape, stickers, glue, gum or staple wire – or any material not originally on the banknote.
  3. Separation of the front and back of the banknote.
  4. Damage from fire, water or chemicals.

The central bank said unfit notes and coins will be exchanged or deposited with any bank.

READ: BSP reminder to banks: Accept damaged and mutilated peso bills that meet requirements

Mutilated banknotes and coins must be presented to any bank “who will then forward the banknotes and coins to the BSP for analysis and determination of redemption value.”

“Mutilated currency should be placed in appropriate containers to avoid disintegration or further deterioration during transit,” the BSP said.

READ: BSP replaces termite-damaged peso banknotes worth P50,000

Why produce polymer banknotes?

If polymer banknotes are prone to creases and creases, why did the central bank produce banknotes using said material?

The BSP cited three main reasons for making polymer banknotes. The first aimed to address ongoing public health and safety concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, disinfection of frequently touched objects, including banknotes and coins, has become a widespread need.”

According to studies, money, whether paper money or coins, is known to carry germs. It can then spread germs from person to person.

Another reason, according to BSP, is the country’s worsening counterfeiting problem as crime syndicates continue to improve their techniques for counterfeiting Next Generation Currency (NGC) banknotes that are currently in traffic.

The BSP also explained that polymer banknotes can solve the problem of growing scarcity of water, energy and other inputs. He also noted that the country’s banknotes should be designed to last longer and be fully recyclable, considering both environmental sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

“These concerns can be addressed by using a polymer substrate in our banknotes, which is known worldwide to be more durable, cost effective, hygienic, difficult to counterfeit and long lasting.”

In summary, the BSP cited the following reasons and characteristics of the P1,000 polymer banknote to explain why it decided to use a material other than the usual paper substrate:

  1. Polymer banknotes are smarter: they’re safer with new detailed images and security features. They are also more environmentally friendly and recyclable.
  2. Polymer banknotes are cleaner: the surface of the banknotes reduces the survivability of viruses and bacteria. They can also be disinfected.
  3. Polymer banknotes are more durable – believed to last at least 2-5 times longer than paper banknotes – and more cost effective.
  4. Polymer banknotes have a distinct and functional design.
  5. “A change for the better.” To keep pace with other countries using polymer banknotes such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Mexico, Fiji and Vietnam.

As of April this year, 10 million pieces of the new polymer 1,000 peso banknotes, or 0.7% of the total number of 1,000 peso banknotes in circulation, have already been delivered.


The BSP said the remaining 490 million pieces of the 1,000-peso polymer banknotes, bringing the total number of polymer banknotes in circulation to 500 million, or 31.9 percent of the total number of banknotes of 1,000 pesos in circulation, are expected to be delivered between October 2022 and June 2023.


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