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The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 52, December 25, 2010, Article 17

NEW PHILIPPINE PESO NOTES: IN ERROR, OR NOT?

Phillipines 500 Peso banknote

We don't have an answer yet to my earlier question about the new Philippine 500 peso note, but the note has generated some controversy over supposed design errors. -Editor

The central bank of the Philippines started to issue new Philippine bank notes this month in time for the yearend holidays. The new bills, however, have a number of graphics errors.

The new notes have the signature of President Benigno Aquino III. While he made history by being the only president with his signature on the new currency and the likeness of both his parents on the 500-peso bill, in the same bank note a native bird was colored incorrectly. The blue-naped parrot should have a red beak and yellow tail feathers, but the note colored the beak yellow and the tail green.

On the same bill, a map gives the wrong location for the Saint Paul subterranean river in Palawan. The site is a designated UNESCO world heritage site.

Another UNESCO world heritage site, the Tubbataha Reefs National Park, was placed on or near Malaysian territorial waters. The site is on the new 1,000-peso bill. On six new bills, the northern limit of the Philippine territory is 150 kilometers south of its actual location and excludes the Batanes islands group.

The central bank admitted the errors on the notes, which has became a hot topic in social networking sites.

In 2005, the central bank had to recall newly printed bills that misspelled the surname of then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Arrovo. The mistake proved a major embarrassment to the government because the term “arrovo” means thief in Spanish.

To read the complete article, see: New Philippine peso bills have graphics errors (www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7020860519?New
%20Philippine%20peso%20bills%20have%20graphics%20errors)

Here's one article with the bank's response to critics. -Editor

“We don’t have to recall these banknotes because these banknotes are without errors. We did not fumble,” BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said in a briefing Monday.

He aired this following comments over the week-end, saying the central bank erred in justifying the Philippine map printed at the back of the notes as well as the real color of the beak and tail feather of the rare blue-naped bird at the P500 bill.

The comments said the map on the P500 bill dislocated the subterranean river Saint Paul’s, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Guinigundo said the map used in the new currency was an abstraction “that cannot be expected to reflect all of our islands and the precise coordinates of each site.”

“The BSP’s intention is to indicate the general location of the world heritage sites and iconic natural wonders,” he said reading the BSP statement.

Regarding the color of the bird at the P500 bill, Guinigundo said the problem was due to “printing limitations.”

He said that “while specialized machines for printing money can imprint security features on our banknotes, it has limited capability for printing colors, unlike machines used to print magazines and books.”

“This is not an error therefore but a function of printing capability limitation,” he said.

The bird printed on the new currency has a yellow beak but this should be red while its tail was in yellow instead of green.

To read the complete article, see: BSP refutes design errors in new banknotes (www.mb.com.ph/articles/294041/bsp-refutes-design-errors-new-banknotes)

I think one of the officials got it right with his response, noting in another article I saw that if the purpose was to accurately represent geography the notes would need to picture 7,000 islands. Really, people, get a grip - this is ART, not a pint-size map. These people would complain that on the quarter George Washington's teeth (gasp!) aren't really WOODEN! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: QUIZ QUESTION: BANKNOTES FEATURING PARENTS AND CHILD (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v13n51a19.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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