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BSP warns of fake money circulating in Bicol

An official of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has warned the public to be cautious in accepting counterfeit money currently circulating in at least three provinces in Bicol, Marlyn Paje, BSP deputy director and regional manager, said in an interview Monday.

Philippine currency
Philippine currency
Photo: BSP
She said that the BSP issued an advisory to all government and private commercial banks, rural banks and business establishments across the region to be watchful about the proliferation of counterfeit bills.

Paje said the BSP has received reports from the public and business establishments, including banks, on the proliferation of counterfeit peso bills in Sorsogon and the island-provinces of Masbate and Catanduanes.

Cynthia Ariola, BSP assistant manager for currency operation division, said the circulation of fake currency has reached an disturbing level, citing reports that last year, Php600,000 worth of fake money bills circulated in Bicol, which affected the local economy, specifically the business sector and the public.

Ariola said fake money ranging from Php500 to Php1,000 denomination are circulating in Bicol.

She said syndicates are circulating counterfeit money in the island-provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate including Sorsogon.

Paje said as a counter-measure against counterfeit money circulation, the BSP deemed it right to demonetize the 30-year-old banknotes to protect the country’s banknotes as the syndicate has perfected the counterfeiting or forgery of the paper notes and the circulation of the fake money has been rampant in many parts of the country.

She said the public will have only six months to use as legal tender the country’s 30-year-old banknotes as this would be demonetized by the BSP on January next year.

Paje said the demonetization process will take effect in January until December 31 next year. Old banknotes can no longer be used in day-to-day transactions but they can be exchanged at face value, free of charge at BSP authorized agent banks or at the BSP branches in Bicol.

Overseas Filipino workers with old bank notes will be given until December 2016 to exchange their paper money.Next year, only new generation currency banknotes will be used as legal tender. (PNA)

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