LOOK: Bangko Sentral upgrades design of peso bills

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 29) – Peso bills will have a new look and feel following the latest design changes introduced by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Governor Benjamin Diokno and Senior Assistant Governor Dahlia Luna unveiled on Wednesday the design tweaks for the banknotes, which are said to boost security versus fake bills and make it easier to recognize and set them apart.

Here are the changes to the bills:

The updated designs will apply to the ₱50, ₱100, ₱200, ₱500, and ₱1,000 bills, with the ₱20 note being prepared for phaseout as it is being transformed into a coin. However, Diokno said the orange bill featuring former President Manuel Quezon will continue to be printed in its current look until existing materials are completely used up. 

Peso bills received a design overhaul in 2010, which is part of the BSP's regular upgrades as a move against counterfeiting. Security features are updated every 10 years on average, the central bank added.

The window security thread which runs vertically through each denomination will now feature a strip of ethnic weave patterns which change colors. The design is unique for each denomination. For example, the ₱1,000 bill will feature the T'nalak weave with micro-optic features, while the ₱500 bill will feature a pattern from southern Philippines and shifts colors from gold to jade when light is moved. The embossed figures at the lower right corner will also have changing hues.

A Visayan weave will be on the ₱200 note and will change from green to blue, thanks to its holographic material. Meanwhile, the ₱100 bill will feature an endemic weave from Bicol and will shift colors from violet to bronze.

It will be remembered that the BSP once had to deepen the purple hue of the ₱100 bill following complaints that some people who confused it with the blue ₱1,000 note.

Another new feature is the tactile or embossed markings at the right end of each bill, allowing the elderly, blind, and visually impaired to set each note apart. The marks increase based on the face value: there are two horizontal notches on the ₱50 bill, four for the ₱100 bill, six for the ₱200, eight for the ₱500, and 10 sticks for the ₱1,000 bill.

The existing New Generation Currency bills will still be accepted as legal tender and will gradually be replaced with these notes carrying enhanced designs.

Diokno said the new features only add 1 percent to the current cost of producing these banknotes.

Meanwhile, the BSP reminded the public against rubbing bills with soap, alcohol, or bleach for disinfection amid the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it equates to damaging the money which merits fines and penalties.