MANILA — A party-list lawmaker is urging the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to redesign the current PHP500 bill featuring former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and former President Corazon Aquino with a "more nationalistic symbol" for the "unity of the country".
Duterte Youth party-list Representative Ducielle Marie Cardema filed on May 2 House Resolution 2566, which urges the BSP to remove the "divisive Ninoy Aquino image" in the PHP500 banknote and replace it with a more unifying nationalistic figure.
A copy of the resolution was released to the media on Wednesday.
"The image of anti-Marcos leader, Ninoy Aquino, has been placed in the 500 peso bill and caused so much divisiveness in the Philippine populace because more than half support the Philippine leader whom Ninoy Aquino fought with politically," Cardema said in her resolution.
She said the BSP recently redesigned the plastic polymer PHP1,000 bill, featuring a Philippine eagle that replaced World War II martyrs Josefa Llanes-Escoda, Jose Abad Santos, and Vicente Lim.
"The BSP recently removed real wartime heroes like General Vicente Lim, Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, and Girl Scout of the Philippines founder Josefa Llanes Escoda from our 1,000 peso bill even though they fought foreign invaders. They were replaced with a more nationalistic and a powerful image of the Philippine eagle," Cardema said.
"What more for a personality like Ninoy Aquino who only fought politically against a fellow Filipino who is also revered by more than half of the Philippine population," she added.
Addressing questions regarding the removal of the photos of the national heroes on the 1,000-peso polymer banknote, lawyer Sarah Severina Curtis, BSP Banknotes and Securities Production Management Department deputy director, said the central bank has been featuring both the national heroes and the natural environment on BSP-issued currency for decades now.
“As with the heroes’ theme, the flora and fauna demonstrate our pride and distinction as Filipinos. It will remind our people even of the pressing challenges of changing climate and associated environmental and social risks of our nation’s commitment and action to ensure a sustainable future for everyone,” she said.
Cardema said her previous proposal to change back Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Manila International Airport has been welcomed by the majority of Filipinos, thus arguing that it would be acceptable to remove the "divisive image" from the PHP500 bill.
"Proof of the desire of many Filipinos to correct this political blunder is the public outcry to rename the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Manila International Airport," she said.
Cardema filed House Bill 10822 seeking to revert the airport’s name to MIA to make it “easier” for travelers to locate the country’s international gateway and give Filipinos a "sense of pride". (PNA)