BPI BanKo, BSP team up for exchange of unfit currencies

MANILA -- Ten branches of BPI Direct BanKo (BanKo) nationwide will start accepting unfit currencies starting December 3, 2018 as part of the bank's partnership with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), to jointly promote coins recirculation and the Clean Notes program.

These are its branches in Cubao, Quezon City; Balanga, Bataan; Dagupan, Pangasinan; Legazpi, Albay; Calapan, Mindoro; Puerto Princesa, Palawan; Dumaguete, Negros Oriental; Roxas City, Capiz; Valenzia, Bukidnon; and Digos, Davao del Sur branches.

Under this program, both the BPI BanKo account holders and non-account holders can exchange with the bank their BSP-issued coins and paper bills that are already already unfit for transactions or those that have been torn, drenched, crumpled or that have writings and spilled substances over the original prints.

Rod Mabiasen, BanKo Microenterprise Loans head, said they decided to introduce this program since they are regularly in touch with the people who normally use the actual currencies.

He is referring to owners of micro and small businesses who are the target market of the Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Island (BPI) subsidiary.

“We can participate in the awareness program of the BSP to also help in the behavioral change,” he said during the launch of the bank’s unfit currency exchange program called “Palitan ng Pera sa BanKo” in Quezon City Wednesday.

To further entice the public to swap their unfit coins and bills, BanKo will be handing out grocery items as incentives, such as spaghetti, fruit cocktail and spaghetti sauce, depending on the amount to be exchanged before the end of the year.

Mabiasen said the amount of the incentives should not exceed 10 percent of the amount of money to be swapped.

BPI BanKo is initially allocating PHP50,000 for each of the 10 banks for the currency exchange program, and Mabiasen said they will increase the amount as needed.

He added that all the transactions for this currency exchange program will only be made inside the bank branches’ premises for security purposes.

Relatively, BSP Metro Manila Currency Operations Sub-sector Managing Director Josefa Elvira E. Ditching-Lorico, during the same briefing, said Filipinos disregard the need to take care of the local currencies even as these are important in their everyday life.

She explained that around 40 percent of existing notes are unfit for circulation, primarily due to the people’s practice of folding it, among others.

Most of these unfit notes are observed in coastal areas like Navotas and Malabon in Metro Manila, she said.

Other areas were huge volume of unfit notes have been noticed include Quezon City and the cities of San Juan, Pasig , Mandaluyong and Marikina, as well as the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Calapan, Mindoro; Aurora; Laguna; Palawan; Isabela; Cavite; Batangas, and Davao.

Ditching-Lorico said the central bank replaces these unfit notes regularly with the help of the banks. (PNA)