Improper handling of Philippine currency is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment based on a Marcos-era proclamation, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) warned on Tuesday.
Presidential Decree 247, issued by then-President Ferdinand Marcos in 1973, states that “banknotes and coins are issued for circulation as medium of exchange and to utilize them for other purposes does not speak well of the due respect and dignity befitting our currency,” the central bank said a statement.
The proclamation sets a fine of not more than P20,000 and/or a jail term of up to five years for those who “willfully deface, mutilate, tear, burn or destroy, in any manner whatsoever, currency notes and coins issued by the Central Bank of the Philippines” — the BSP’s predecessor.
The Bangko Sentral detailed the following as prohibited:
• writing or putting marks on banknotes;
• willful, tearing, burning, or destruction, in any manner, of Philippine currency;
• willful and excessive folding or crumpling that results in a breakdown of the structure and limpness of the banknote;
• willfully causing multiple random folds across the entire banknote that toughly affect its visual appearance; and
• willfully exposing banknotes or coins to chemicals or other materials resulting in the acceleration of the defacement, destruction, or natural wear and tear of the note or coin.
The Bangko Sentral also discourage the public from stapling banknotes and/or using adhesives on Philippine currency as these would compromise structural integrity.
“The BSP encourages the public to report any information on improper handling of Philippine currency to the nearest police station or law enforcement agency, for appropriate action, or contact the Currency Management Sector for assistance at tel. nos. 988-4833 and 926-5092,” it added.