Heroes on money: A representation of PH history

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 12 2018 01:44 PM

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Heroes grace our money.

Once dubbed by historian Ambeth Ocampo as the "country's calling card," Philippine currency has long immortalized the faces of heroes in different denominations.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas explained that heroes in the country's currency are usually depicted based on their contribution to history.

The process for choosing a hero for a certain denomination begins with research by a numismatic committee.

This is followed by a proposal which will be submitted to the monetary board and finally, for the President's approval.

The process usually takes years and is not without contention. 

Grace Malic, deputy director of the BSP, however, clarified that heroes depicted on smaller denominations are not less than those depicted in higher ones just like Dr. Jose Rizal.

"Rizal is known to all, halos lahat pati school children, so dun sya sa pinakamaraming denomination. Siya yung nagcicirculate sa grassroots level," she said.

As historian Xiao Chua explained, Philippine currency is not just a representation of the economy but a part of history as well.

"When we look at our money, we don't just see currency, we don't just see economy but we also see a part of our story there," he said.