Philippine Peso bills and coins and their evolution (if not devolution) through the years are an interesting subject as they silently tell our nation’s revolution-filled story each time a new design comes out.
Even the dead still play politics (albeit the Yellow necro type) up to this day with how they try to usurp one another in getting to be featured on national currency. Besides what greater honor is there for a Filipino than to have his/her face and name immortalized on the basic unit of commerce/trade? The fact that every day, millions of bills and coins are exchanged between hands throughout the country makes getting into this elite circle of featured faces and names something that’s highly coveted, giving one a place among the few “heroes”, “stars” and “noble men and women” who have made an indelible mark on Philippine history.
Emilio Aguinaldo is a controversial character in Philippine history; among the shadiest acts ascribed to him include the execution of the founder of the Philippine revolution himself, the Supremo – Andres Bonifacio. His name also surfaces in the assassination of Heneral Luna, of recent Big Screen fame. So the movie may have played a part in his recent unseating from his place on the P5 coin, in favor of his victim: Bro. Andy.
An interesting article “Aguinaldo, Bonifacio, the 5-Peso Coin” sheds light into this scene in history
According to Filipino historian Xiao Chua, there isn’t enough support to such allegation that Aguinaldo had his fellow general killed. Chua, however, does not doubt that the president was responsible for the assassination of another revolutionary, Andres Bonifacio, whose face has now replaced his on the topical denomination. He cites the letter written by Aguinaldo himself wherein the latter admits to ordering Bonifacio’s killing in fear of the threat he posed to the government then.
Is the act of replacing Aguinaldo’s face with Bonifacio’s in the 2nd most circulated coin in the land an act of correcting the historical wrong done to the Supremo? Or is politics so deeply ingrained in Pinoy DNA that even to this day these two leaders of the revolution are still slugging it out for a rightful place in the hall of fame?
Note: Interestingly, Bonifacio appears to have blindsided Aguinaldo by appearing first in the P10 peso bill with Mabini several years back, before making the blitz pounce on the P5 coin. Nice maneuver there!
Inflation and the Need for a Major Change in Peso Coins and Bills
Recall the days when you could have a complete satisfying meal at a restaurant with just P10? Now a Hundred Pesos may not even be enough to buy a tube of Colgate toothpaste. There was a time the Philippine 1 Peso coin was so hefty huge, the metal content in it was already in itself like getting hands on valuable treasure. Now because of inflation, what is a 1 Peso coin worth?
Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas is in a key position to impact the country as they control the production of money. BSP’s New Generation Currency (NGC) series of coins and banknotes despite the fresh look and feel still appears to be found wanting.
With that backgrounder on the effects of inflation, let’s give some suggestions for BSP to ponder on for their next iteration of design releases. Just my 2 cents:
NGC Coin Series
1-Sentimo ⇒ No need, what can this buy?
5-Sentimo ⇒ No need, what can this buy?
25-Sentimo ⇒ Replace with a new 50-Sentimo coin
1-Piso ⇒ Hardly worth anything. Change to Aluminum, but keep Rizal’s face there!
5-Piso ⇒ Bonfacio (rather than Aguinaldo) – Congrats!
10-Piso ⇒ Tired old-looking Mabini should be replaced by someone more dashing
20-Piso ⇒ No need, 2 x 10 Peso coins will do
20-piso ⇒ Make obsolete for the same reason
50-piso ⇒ Change to a coin
100-piso ⇒ Keep as is, or change to a coin
200-piso ⇒ No need, 2 x 100 Peso bills or coins will do
500-piso ⇒ An entire GRP article was devoted to rectifying this Yellow wrong
1000-piso ⇒ Replace those 3 hardly known faces with the emblem of SAF44 (with maybe PNoy’s laughing face at the background!)
5000-piso ⇒ Introduce this soon (maybe bring back Lapu-Lapu, who used to be in 1-Sentimo); there are too many millionaires in PH already
So there you have it: 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000-Piso Series is all we really need to shop and pay bills! And it sure makes for a simple systematic life, right?
Note: 50-Sentimo (0.5-Piso) being the smallest unit of currency will roughly match the value of 1 Yen in Japan and 1 Cent in the US!
Vending Machines and Cashless Society
Why aren’t vending machines prevalent in the Philippines? Is it because Pinoys have an aversion to automation? Oh yeah, they would rather sit behind a sari-sari store all day than have a machine do the hard work of waiting for them. It is difficult to make a national network of vending machines work if coins and bills keep changing. Pinoys need to stop being so fickle minded and keep a currency design locked for good (or for decades at least) for this to be viable. Look at other first world countries – their vending machines need little maintenance and updates because bills and coins stay standard for many, many years.
But the saving grace is for the country to embrace cashless payment. When you can get a smart phone for just P2000 and hopefully free wifi outdoors, there really is no excuse for not shifting to cashless transactions. A huge boost will be if government officially enforces massive adoption through laws and regulation. I guess this is where conspiracy theories on the angle that “COVID-19 was released on purpose” come in.
Traitors Out, Real Heroes In
We all know about how traitors find their way into legal tender to put in place the perfect “propaganda material” device into mass circulation for wholesale mind conditioning of the hoi polloi. The Duterte administration appears to have the wit and BALLS (like the those mentioned in the Megastar’s expletive laden pronouncement) to make major shifts and for making the tough decisions on whose faces get to be printed or minted on national currency. Let’s hope the most awaited removal of those laughing “ha ha nauto namin kayo!!!” faces on our P500 bill is in the offing. With that, Duterte can leave a lasting legacy of finally cleaning up a significant portion of the brainwashing mess that Yellowtardism has left on the country.
Let’s resonate the call to put real heroes in their rightful places. Where is Lapu-Lapu or the SAF44? How can they be remembered best except by giving them a rightful place on the limited currency real estate available and displacing fake heroes and shady characters?
Let the countdown to Bonifacio Day begin…
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