MANILA, Philippines – Think twice before you write anything on that peso bill -- you may end up paying a P20,000 fine or worse end up in jail.
Grace Malic, manager of currency analysis and redemption at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) cash department, on Friday said there is an existing but little-known law that imposes a penalty on anyone who defaces or destroys Philippine currency.
Presidential Decree no. 247, signed by President Ferdinand Marcos on July 18, 1973, prohibits and penalizes defacement, mutilation, tearing, burning or destruction of Central Bank notes and coins.
"Defacing, mutilating, tearing, or partially burning or destroying our currency by any means renders it unfit for circulation, thereby unduly shortening its lifetime, and such acts unfavorably reflect on the discipline of our people and create a bad image for our country," PD no. 247 stated.
The PD states that it is unlawful for anyone to “willfully deface, mutilate, tear, burn or destroy, in any manner whatsoever, currency notes and coins issued by the Central Bank of the Philippines.”
“Any person who shall violate this Decree shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than P20,000 and/or by imprisonment of not more than 5 years,” PD 247 stated.
After declaring Martial Law in 1972, President Marcos issued presidential decrees, which had the force of law. In the 1986 Constitution, President Corazon Aquino recognized the validity of existing presidential decrees unless otherwise repealed.