New Generation Currency

The New Generation Currency (NGC) Banknotes

It was a significant event in Philippine history when the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) unveiled the “New Generation Currency” series of Philippine banknotes in December 16, 2010. It had been 3 decades (1985-present) since the BSP launched a new series of legal tender.

Early design of the new generation currency banknotes

Early design of the new generation currency banknotes

The process of redesigning the notes began in 2009. The security features on the existing bank notes (New Design Series) were becoming outdated making it much easier for counterfeiters to reproduce as technology was becoming more advanced, thus the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced the need to redesign to further enhance security features and improve durability.

The designers of the new banknotes were Studio 5 Designs, who took the designs for the P20, P50 & P1000, while Design Systemat took the remaining P100, P200, and P500 banknotes. Both were local design companies which were tapped by BSP to come up with six new designs for the six denominations.

20 Pesos Banknote
Obverse :
President Manuel L. Quezon, Filipino as the National Language, Malacañang Palace, Seal of the President and the new BSP Seal.
Reverse :
Banaue Rice Terraces; the palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) popularly known as “coffee alamid” from the mountains of the Cordilleras, famous for producing the best and most expensive coffee; weave design from the Cordilleras
Security Features:
Embossed prints, serial number, security fibers, watermark, see-through mark, concealed value, security thread.

50 Pesos Banknote
Obverse:
President Sergio Osmeña, First National Assembly, Leyte Landing of Gen. Douglas MacArthur and staff land at Palo Beach, Leyte, October 20, 1944.
Reverse :
Taal Lake, the deepest freshwater lake in the country which host Taal Volcano, the world’s smallest volcano and the place where the Giant Trevally (Caranx ignobilis) thrives, locally known as Maliputo, a fish which can only be found in the lake; embroidery design handcrafted in Batangas province
Security Features:
Embossed prints, serial number, security fibers, watermark, see-through mark, concealed value, security thread.

100 Pesos Banknote
Obverse :
President Manuel A. Roxas, Central Bank of the Philippines 1949 and the inaguration of the Third Republic on July 4, 1946.
Reverse :
Mayon Volcano in Legazpi, Albay the country’s most active volcano which has near perfect cone; Whale shark or locally known as “Butanding” (Rhincodon typus), the world’s largest living fish which is the main tourist attraction at Donsol, Sorsogon; Indigenous textile from the Bicol Region
Security Features:
Embossed prints, serial number, security fibers, watermark, see-through mark, concealed value, security thread.

200 Pesos Banknote
Obverse :
President Diosdado P. Macapagal , with the Independence house and Barasoain Church.
Reverse :
Chocolate Hills of Bohol and the Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta), world’s smallest primate which can be found in Bohol and in Samar, Leyte and Mindanao; handcrafted design from the Visayas in Central Philippines
Security Features:
Embossed prints, serial number, security fibers, watermark, see-through mark, concealed value, security thread.

500 Pesos Banknote
Obverse :
Icons of Democracy – President Corazon C. Aquino, Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. ; EDSA People Power I February 1986; Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. “Ninoy” Monument; Seal of the President; BSP Seal
Reverse :
8Km Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site); Blue-naped Parrot (Tanygnathus lucionensis), woven cloth from Southern Philippines.
Security Features:
Embossed prints, serial number, security fibers, watermark, see-through mark, concealed value, security thread, optically variable device (OVD), optically variable ink (OVI).

1,000 Pesos Banknote
Obverse :
Josefa Llanes Escoda, Vicente P. Lim, and Jose Abad Santos (WWII Heroes); Centennial of Philippine Independence 1998; Medal of Honor; Seal of the Republic of the Philippines; and the BSP Seal.
Reverse :
Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site); South Sea Pearl (Pinctada maxima), Tinalak or Ikat-dyed abaca woven in Mindanao in Southern Philippines.
Security Features:
Embossed prints, serial number, security fibers, watermark, see-through mark, concealed value, security thread, optically variable device (OVD), optically variable ink (OVI).

PUBLIC RECEPTION

Days after its release, New Generation Currency (NGC) banknote series came under fire for its designs as critics slammed the BSP for approving error-filled bills. Several errors have been pointed out and the notes have become the subject of derision in several social networking sites. Among these are the exclusion of Batanes from the Philippine map on the reverse of all denominations, the mislocation of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean Underground River on the reverse of the 500-peso bill and the Tubbataha Reef on the 1000-peso bill, and the incorrect coloring on the beak and feathers of the blue-naped parrot on the 500-peso bill. The scientific names of the animals featured on the reverse sides of all banknotes were incorrectly rendered as well.

BSP later withdrew the notes and instead of revising the notes errors has instead re-issued the previous design and just changed the signatories to the current President of the Republic and the current Governor of the Central Bank, Benigno S. Aquino III and Amando M. Tetanco Jr. respectively. BSP still maintained that there were no errors in the bills.

Amid the flurry of negative comments being thrown, it has received great compliments from an international currency association last October. The NGC banknote series was a finalist for the Best New Banknote Series award at the 2011 Currency Conference of the US-based International Association of Currency Affairs (IACA) in Singapore. Even though the Ugandan Shilling, got the award for the Best New Banknote Series, the new 500-piso and 1,000-piso NGC bills, however, won the Best New Currency Feature award with its OVD security Patch.

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