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BSP Intensifies Fight Against Counterfeiters

04.06.2004

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is stepping up its campaign against counterfeiters of Philippine banknotes.

Today, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Rafael B. Buenaventura announced higher financial rewards for those who can provide BSP information that will lead to the successful arrest and prosecution of counterfeiters.

He said that while the circulation of fake money is not rampant, BSP has been receiving isolated reports on counterfeit money being used for payment. “It is unfortunate that some of our people get victimized by unscrupulous counterfeiters. Our advice, therefore, is for people to be aware of the security features incorporated in our genuine banknotes so that they themselves can spot fake notes.”

BSP agents have been working closely with other regulatory authority such as the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice and the Officer of the Solicitor General  in its fight against fake peso notes.

In the last two years,  the joint campaign has led to the arrest of 58 suspects, the confiscation of 12 printing equipment, and the conviction of three counterfeiters. Seized were fake P100, P500, and P1,000 peso notes as well as counterfeit US dollars in $100 and $1,000 denominations. Informants received rewards ranging from a low of P20,000.00 to a high of more than P300,000.

People who have information about counterfeiting operations are requested to get in touch with any of the following BSP offices:

BSP Head Office (Cash Department)                                 BSP Cebu Regional Office
Mabini St., Malate, Manila                                                      P. Del Rosario St., Cebu City
Tel: (043) 523-9806                                                               Tel: (032) 254-0973
   
BSP La Union Regional Office                                            BSP Davao Regional Office
Quezon Ave., City of San Fernando                                    Quirino Ave., Davao City
Tel: (072) 888-2083                                                              Tel: (082) 300-3709

People who suspect that they have received fake money are also advised to coordinate with these offices.

To facilitate identification of fake notes, BSP has been implementing a Clean Note Program which encourages people to exchange unfit or dirty banknotes in exchange for crisp and clean money at bank branches.   “For as long as dirty and faded banknotes circulate, there is a chance that some would fall victim to receiving counterfeit money. We are therefore requesting the public and the banks to stop circulating dirty money,” the Governor said.

Under a memorandum of agreement with the BSP, banks are  committed to replace unfit or dirty money surrendered by the public with clean peso notes. In turn, unfit or soiled money received by banks from the public are exchanged with clean and fresh notes from the BSP.

Signatories to the MOA with BSP are commercial banks under the  Bankers  Association of the Philippines (BAP), savings or thrift banks under the Chamber of Thrift Banks (CTB) and rural banks under the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP).

Last year, nearly one-third of peso notes in circulation were replaced by the BSP with freshly-printed banknotes, equivalent to 541 million pieces of banknotes. There are about 1.45 billion pieces of banknotes in circulation today.

For additional information, interested parties may refer to the BSP’s “Know Your  Currency” brochure which are available upon request. Please call  (02)523-4832 for copies.

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