THE public can still exchange their old New Design Series (NDS) banknotes into the New Generation Currency (NGC) series until end-March next year, the central bank said.
In a press briefing last week, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said this is because the central bank extended its demonetization program until March 31, 2017 from the original deadline of December 31, 2016.
The old NDS banknotes, which consist of 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, 200-, 500- and 1,000-peso denominations, were first issued on June 12, 1985. As of January 1 this year, they can no longer be used for purchases.
But these old banknotes can still be exchanged without charge with the BSP or its authorized agent banks and financial institutions for the NGC series. However, they will become worthless beginning April 1, 2017.
Espenilla said the extension was the Monetary Board’s answer to the “public’s clamor for more time to exchange or replace the old banknotes” which have been circulating since 1985.
“Most of the NDS currencies have already been replaced and a small amount is still circulating in the system,” he said.
Espenilla said a BSP count as of end-November this year showed that about P23.3 billion worth of the three-decades-old series still have to be exchanged for NGC banknotes.
A total of P979.9 billion in banknotes are currently in circulation, 2.4 percent of which are NDS bills. In volume terms, 295.7 million pieces of NDS bills need to be exchanged, equivalent to 8.86 percent of the 3.34 billion pieces in circulation.
Espenilla also reminded banks that they are required to exchange or replace old banknotes, whether these are from their customers or not.
“Banks should fulfill their responsibility and accept the old banknotes,” he said, adding that BSP would apply the relevant provisions of the BSP Charter to those banks found refusing to accept the old banknotes.