Will PH set new record for longest line of coins?

By Cathy Rose A. Garcia, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Dec 01 2011 09:25 AM | Updated as of Dec 02 2011 03:07 AM

Volunteers lay down sets of 25-centavo coins in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record on the longest line of coins, now held by the United States at 64.8 km (39 miles), at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila. REUTERS

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines' efforts to set a new world record for the longest line of single denominated coins continued at the Quirino Grandstand for a second day on Thursday.

The attempt to create a 70-kilometer line of 25 centavo coins began on Wednesday, but organizers are hopeful they would finish the "longest line" by Thursday evening. The public was urged to continue sending coins and volunteers to help them meet the goal.

"If you look at the length, we are almost close to our goal. We are close to 60 to 70 kilometers... The main problem is some of the lines won't pass the Guinness scrutiny. We are making sure the coins are closely packed and are connected and make a continuous line of 70 kilometers," said Dr. Greg Suarez, president of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Officers Club, told ANC Headstart, Thursday morning.

The BSP Officers' Club and Employees Association and the Kabayanihan Foundation organized the event "Barya ng mga Bayani: The Power of Small Change."

The Philippines hopes to beat the current Guinness World Record held by a community in Fort Scott, Kansas, where they lined up 3.4 million pieces of 1 cent coins for a total of 64.88 kilometers in 2008.

Suarez said they invited geodetic engineers and expert witnesss to check the line of coins if it complies with the standards of the Guinness World Records, the ultimate authority on record-breaking achievement.

The engineers and officials will then issue a certification which, along with other documentation, will be sent to Guinness. No representative from Guinness was invited, since it would cost some 4,000 euros.

Many families with children in tow, arrived at the Quirino grandstand on Wednesday to donate 25 centavo coins. Some even came with piggybanks, while others toted heavy sacks of coins.

"This morning, a mendicant gave us a bag of 25 centavos. Last night, the Mayor of Manila gave 5 kilometers worth of (25 centavo) donations. They came from everyone, from all walks of life... Now early in the morning, there are still volunteers," Suarez said.

There were rainshowers on Wednesday afternoon that caused some delays, as well as a temporary shortage of scotch tape. But organizers and volunteers valiantly continued their effort, until late in the evening.

The event was all for a good cause, since the coins that were donated will be used to construct several classrooms for public elementary schools around the country.

Recirculating coins

BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Gunigundo said the event was part of the BSP's effort to encourage the recirculation of coins back into the system, amid a coin shortage.

"Ang gusto namin ma-flush out ang mga barya at simulan natin na ito ay paikutin sa buong ekonomiya," Gunigundo said.

The BSP estimated there are only about 10% of the 18.9 billion pieces of coins are being recirculated in the system.

The millions of 25 centavo coins used for the event will be recirculated back into the system. This move will save the government some P3 million to P5 million, since it would not have to produce new coins.

Earlier, BSP said coins used as tokens for video games, karaoke machines, vending machines as well as the collections of churches and jueteng operations are not recirculated in the system, resulting to a supply shortage.  - With report from ANC