The country doesn’t have shortage in cash and coins—in fact, accumulated peso cash in the country can get you to circulate the earth nine times and get you to the moon when connected end to end, according to the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB).
In a statement on their website, NSCB Secretary-General Jose Ramon Albert said that the currency notes volume of the country totaled to 2.32 billion pieces of cash amounting to P603.6 billion as per Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) latest data in June.
“If the banknotes were connected end to end, the length will be more than 371,200 kilometers. This is equivalent to 100 times the length of the entire Pan-Philippine national highway, which extends from Laoag City, Ilocos Norte to Zamboanga City in the south. The combined length of these banknotes is also enough to go nine times around the earth’s equator or nearly the distance from earth to the moon,” Albert said.
He also said that for coins circulating in the country, there were 20.08 billion pieces of coins in circulation valued at P22.77 billion, and that the Philippines “does not have a shortage of coins,” unlike speculations arising.
“More than half, or 56.6 percent of these coins are lower denominated coins [like P1 and P5]. The BSP estimates that the current number of coins is equivalent to 207 pieces of coins per Filipino,” the NSCB secretary-general said.
Though there is no shortage, Albert noted that an “artificial shortage of coins” happen at times when people “keeps pennies in their wallets, drawers and piggy banks instead of using them as payment for goods and services, or depositing them in banks.”
“There is also an increased demand for P1 coins also due to the popularity of coin games which interfere in the circulation of coins throughout the economy,” Albert said.
As of today, banknotes or cash present in the country’s circulation included P20 bills, P50, P100, P200, P500 and P1,000, while the coins available are 1 centavo, 5 centavos, 10 centavos, 25 centavos, P1, P5 and P10.
In comparison to Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines is lower than Indonesia and Thailand in terms of both “narrow money” or called M1 and “broad money” or M2 presence in the circulation.
Narrow money comprise of coins, cash and demand deposits which stand as a standard or store value of the country, while the broad money refers to the actual volume of currency in the circulation. Financial health of institutions is determined by checking the country’s broad money.
The Philippines’ narrow money was estimated at P1.6 trillion or $38.9 billion in 2012, lower compared to Thailand’s $87 billion and Indonesia’s 52.2 billion. Same goes for broad money with the country having a total of P5.1 trillion or $123.5 billion, while Thailand had $488.6 billion and Indonesia with $341.7 billion.
Albert said that as per the International Monetary Fund, the higher percentage of broad money to the country’s GDP, the higher the financial savings are.