A series of newly issued peso coins should be withdrawn because are causing confusion among the public, a lawmaker has said.
Congressman Jericho Nograles called on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas — the nation’s central bank (BSP) — to immediately recall and scrap the new coins due to “serious design flaws”. The bank, meanwhile, has urged the public to “give them a chance”.
The Duterte loyalist said the new coins failed to meet the “basic design principles for coinage”, which require that the denominations are easy to distinguish through touch and not just visually.
“How many times have you reached into your pocket while inside a cramped jeepney and ended up paying the driver more than you should because you gave him the new five-peso coins instead of one-peso coins? Probably more than once already,” he said.
“In this case, we can’t even fault the driver for not calling your attention on the wrong payment since they usually just glance at the coin before placing it in their money box. These innocent mistakes happen in commercial establishments too.”
The new one, five and ten-peso coins have already been released for circulation. The BSP claims that they were result of more than two years of design study.
Rep. Nograles also said that the new coinage could even have a negative economic impact on the economy.
Aside from the unintended overpayments and underpayments, the vending machine industry would be hit hard, he added.
“Dispensers in public restrooms will have to be redesigned and replaced as their coin slots are rendered obsolete. Vending machines in office buildings and school campuses will need hardware and software upgrades. Even coin organisers of cashiers in toll booths, ticket outlets and banks, among others, would be useless” he said.
“The primary consideration of the BSP was to produce cheaper and stronger coins. That’s fine, however, they can at least match the weight, diameter and thickness of the widely circulated coins, so people will not be confused and machines will no longer be replaced.”
The BSP has appealed to the public to give the new coins a chance.
“Let us give a chance to the new series as the BSP will be launching into campaigns all over the Philippines to familiarize our people with the NGC coins,” bank’s Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said.
“We respect the sentiment of some of our countrymen, including Rep. Nograles. But I would like them first to see and feel the complete series.
“I am sure once they have seen and felt the coins and start knowing why we used nickel-plating which results in metallic silver for all six denominations for security and durability, they would be more open.”