The Regional Development Council (RDC-7) warned here on Friday against the spread of genuine currency bills which have â€œlostâ€ one security feature and, thus, become worthless and â€œfake.â€
What adds to the â€œmisfortuneâ€ of the holders of these notes is that the banks, even the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), will not exchange these â€œonce legal tenders,â€ further cautioned Gov. Edgar Chatto who led the RDC full-council meeting at the Bohol Cultural Center.
Under the BSP demonetization program, the old banknotes can be exchanged with any banks until December 31, 2016, but their use for payment transactions is only until December 31, 2015.
BSP Cebu Regional Office Acting Director Leonides Sumbi reported to the RDC that there are now unscrupulously circulated genuine P20 bills which security thread is â€œmissing.â€
â€œThey are truly genuine and not counterfeit money, but they have lost value and we donâ€™t exchange them,â€ Sumbi said.
The Central Bank director is among the new members of the RDC, which Tagbilaran City meeting was the councilâ€™s second quarterly for this year.
It was also the first full-body meeting of the RDC-Central Visayas minus the participation of Negros Oriental since its integration with Negros Occidental into the new Negros Island Region or Region 18.
Sumbi said that as long as they have security thread, the existing old banknotes, even they are already worn out, are accepted as a legal tender or for exchange for new design bills.
The threads in P20 bills, which have the lowest value among the current bills in use, must have been pulled out and detached by enterprising counterfeiters and put in fake high-value notes like P500 and P1,000 to look genuine.
This explains, according to the BSP official, why there are bogus bills yet having genuine security threads.
Sumbi thus advised the public to better go to the banks and have their old banknotes replaced with new ones before the demonetization deadline.
Although he already talked to a top Bohol bankersâ€™ official, the BSP director continued in the RDC meeting to encourage the group to accept old banknotes for exchange with the new bills.
The existing old bills, also called the New Design Series (NDS) banknotes, have been in use since 1985 or for almost 30 years now.
They have been gradually withdrawn from circulation, which is only until December 31, 2015, for total replacement starting January 1, 2016 by the New Generation Currency (NGC) banknotes, which have been circulated since December in 2010.
The demonetization is to align with the practice of central banks around the world of changing the designs of their currencies that have been in use for over 10 years.
Sumbi explained to the RDC that it is also to safeguard the integrity of the Philippine banknotes.
The US dollar has not been changed, though, except for its security features.
Meanwhile, Chatto announced that the BSP has already identified a possible site for the establishment in Bohol of a Central Bank office building after a survey assuring the geo-physical integrity of the area.
The local bankers have longed for the project to materialize as the BSP director himself agrred to the considerable â€œrisk of bulk transactions from Bohol to Cebu cash hub.â€ (Ven rebo Arigo)