LEGAZPI CITY – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) branch here is urging Bicolanos to become familiar with the various security features of the Philippine currency to avoid accepting counterfeit banknotes.
During an information caravan on Tuesday, Jose Roberto Almeda Jr., BSP Legazpi senior research specialist, said the public must learn to "feel, look and tilt" their banknotes to ensure these are genuine.
"Considering that you are in doubt about the genuineness of a banknote, you conduct feel, look and tilt. If you feel the security paper, it should be rough to the touch because it's 80 percent cotton and 20 percent abaca, in a counterfeit it is smooth to the touch. You should also feel the embossed prints and the tactile marks," Almeda said.
He said consumers and the general public must also look for the security measures such as the watermark, security fiber, asymmetric serial number and see-through mark.
"We should also look at the quality of printing of a genuine note, it should be very detailed. Ang perang tunay kahit mabasa (a genuine banknote even if it is wet) will never smudge. Look at the watermark, it is the shadow image of the portrait that can be seen through a source of light. Look also for the security fibers that are red and blue embedded in the note. Asymmetric serial numbers should be unique in denominations and the see-through mark that can be seen in its complete form-- a pre-Spanish writing system code Baybayin," Almeda said.
As to tilt, the security features include a security thread, concealed numerical value, optically variable ink for PHP1,000 and PHP500 bills, optically variable device patch and enhanced value panel.
He said BSP continues to enhance the security features of banknotes to protect security, preserve integrity and promote inclusivity.
BSP Legazpi also encouraged the public to replace their unfit and mutilated currency with fresh banknotes.
"The Piso Caravan is a program of the BSP to siphon the unfit banknotes and coins in circulation. So we are educating the public to use clean, crisp and no writing banknotes. We are bringing the service closer to the people, that's why we are putting booths in certain areas," Paulette Gay Menguilla, BSP-Legazpi branch officer said.
She said all mutilated notes are redeemable except when the banknote size is less than 3/5 or 60 percent, signatures are all lost and the security thread is lost.
Meanwhile, BSP-Legazpi also reminded the public to protect and manage their digital footprints by not sharing too much information on social media.
"Avoid answering trivia questions like 'What was the name of your childhood pet?' as these are used to verify your identity, especially when changing passwords. Avoid using applications or games that promise to show you 'What you'll look like in 10 years?' as these can be used to mine your facial recognition to bypass security in your financial transactions," Menguilla said.
For his part, Alvin Bermido, BSP-Legazpi area director, in his message said they are optimistic that with the five-day information caravan, participants will understand and appreciate the role in preserving the integrity of banknotes and preparing a financially secured future.
The information caravan starts Tuesday and ends Friday at LCC mall with attendees ranging from police officers, fisherfolk and farmers, the youth sector, transport group and overseas Filipino workers. (PNA)