House OKs bill penalizing hoarding of coins

by Paolo Romero, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 25 2014 11:50 AM | Updated as of May 25 2014 07:50 PM

MANILA - A bill seeking to penalize the hoarding of Philippine coins has been passed on second reading at the House of Representatives.

House Bill 4411, “An Act Penalizing the Hoarding of Legal Tender Coins of the Philippine Currency,” was swiftly approved on Tuesday.

Batangas Rep. Sonny Collantes, House committee on banks and financial intermediaries chairman, presented it on the floor.

The other authors are Reps. Jorge Almonte of Misamis Occidental, Julieta Cortuna of A Teacher, Ferdinand Hernandez of South Cotabato, Henry Oaminal of Misamis Occidental, and Terry Ridon of Kabataan.

The lawmakers said the bill’s enactment was necessary to maintain the stability of the country’s currency as coins are being hoarded for various reasons, including smuggling for the extraction of metallic content.

The bill seeks to impose a penalty of eight years’ imprisonment and a fine not exceeding P300,000 but not less than either the face value of the coins hoarded or their intrinsic value, whichever is higher.

If the offender is a corporation, partnership or association or any juridical person, the penalty would be imposed on the responsible officers who participated in or allowed the commission of the crime.

Not covered are charitable institutions, private banks, banking and financial institutions of the government and other government agencies when they hold coins as part of their official functions.

The bill seeks to mandate the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to draft implementing rules and regulations to determine the aggregate value, the number of pieces and weight that will constitute hoarding.

BSP officials earlier detected the growing number of cases involving the hoarding and exportation of coins to convert them into raw materials for the manufacture of certain parts of mobile phones and computers.