Public urged to recirculate coins
There is no coin shortage
By Rachelle M. Nessia
Dumaguete City (March 29) -- The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is urging the public to circulate coins and accept them as legal tender in the midst of the perceived shortage of coins in the country.
Nicasio Parco, Deputy Director of BSP here, in a recent forum said that there is no shortage of coins in the Philippines. "There is no problem in the coin supply but rather in its circulation," he stressed.
There is P16.9 billion worth of coins circulating in the country as of December 31, 2009, or a total of 15.6 billion pieces.
Divina Salve, a research specialist at BSP here, pegs the ratio of the BSP-produced coins to the population at 187 per each Filipino as of the end of 2009.
Despite this, the perceived shortage of coins persists as "clearly the problem is not in the supply but in the circulation," said Salve.
According to BSP's website, the demand for coins remains unfilled in several parts of the country due to the low regard towards public lower-denominated coins and are kept inside bank vaults, piggy banks, inside drawers or thrown away or in video games and video karaoke machines
Salve stressed the need to flush out the coins in storage and for the public to cultivate a habit of regularly using coins in giving payments and exact change.
It costs several millions of pesos for BSP's Mint Refinery and Operations Department to mint a fresh supply of coins.
"If the coins continue to be poorly circulated, BSP will be forced to produce more coins and this is very costly," said Salve.
Local businesses have responded to BSP's call to circulate coins, one of which is Super Lee Plaza wherein the department store's employees were given P6 for every P5 worth of coins they turned over to the management.
Meanwhile, BSP is also encouraging the public to immediately report persons who are involved in defacing/mutilating and smuggling of Philippine coins, both of which are criminal acts under Presidential Decree 247. (PIA/RMN) [top]