New Design Series

The New Design Series (NDS) Banknotes

New Design Series (NDS) is Philippines’ present legal tender banknote design series and it has been since 1985, a full 25 years before the Banko sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) decided to modernize. The series is expected to be replaced by the New Generation Currency (NGC) banknote series, which was publicly introduced in December 2010.


It was as early as 1983, when Central Bank proposed to replace the Ang Bagong Lipunan banknote series by issuing seven new banknotes consisting of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000-peso denomination.

In June 12, 1985, the Central Bank issued the New Design Series, starting off with a 5-peso banknote which features the bust of Emilio Aguinaldo, followed by a 10-peso banknote with Apolinario Mabini, months after. Early in 1986, the 20-peso banknote was introduced. After the 1986 People Power Revolution and with the 1987 Constitution promulgated, the Central Bank then issued the 50-peso and 100-peso. 500-peso Marcos notes were also to be release but were hold because of several political reasons, issuing a new 500-peso banknote with the bust of Benigno Aquino, Jr. instead. By 1991, the Central Bank issued for the first time a 1000-peso value banknote, containing the bust portraits of Philippines WWII war heroes.

The designs were conceptualized by three prominent Pilipino artists; Rafael Asunsion, Angel Cacnio, and Romeo MananQuil. Each worked with the task to provide the designs for the early banknote denominations. Rafael Asunsion took on the designs for the 10-peso (1st version), 50 peso and the 500-peso (Ninoy). Angel Cacnio worked on the 20-peso and 100-peso while Romeo MananQuil with the 5-peso, 500-peso (Marcos) and the 1000-peso designs.

NDS Approved Design Proposals
*Photo Credits: Pinoynotes – Wilson’s Wonders,


After the creation of the “Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas” in 1993, BSP’s new logo was incorporated on all the New Design series bills and by 1998, the year mark was added at the bottom of the obverse side’s upper left corner denomination value of every banknote. Additional security features were added for the 100-peso, 200-peso, 500-peso and 1000-peso banknotes on 2001, the stitched security thread on the right side and the iridescent band (gold fluorescent print) on the left across the note. The series was renamed the BSP Series in 1993 when the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) was re-established as the central monetary authority, though the name New Design Series remained prominent.

By 1996, BSP stopped printing 5-peso banknotes, per release of the Improved Flora and Fauna series ₱5 coin denomination, likewise with the 10-peso banknote in 2002 with its 10-peso coin counterpart. But prior to that in 1997, BSP first made a couple of changes with the 10-peso banknote, adding in Andres Bonifacio beside Mabini’s bust portrait, and some elements from the Katipunan were also included.

For the 1000-peso notes in 1999, the signature of the Philippine president was re-positioned and moved slightly to the left to accommodate the names of the banknote signatories.

To credit the turnover of the Old Legislative Building made by Congress to the National Museum. The incription “Dating Gusali ng Batasan” written at the reverse side of the 50-peso banknote was replaced by “Gusali ng Pambansang Museo” in 2001.

The second major political upheaval called EDSA II in 2001 was depicted on the reverse side of the 200-piso showing Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo being sworn into office at the EDSA Shrine. She is the first president whose image has been included in a banknote while in office. On the obverse side of the banknote is the portrait of his father, Diosdado Macapagal. The 200-piso NDS which was issued in 2002, was the last denomination to be added in the series.

All existing NDS banknotes, which includes the 5 and 10-peso notes, remain a legal tender until the end of 2014.

*Photo Credits: PNN – FAB


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