Still hanging on to your old peso bills? Read this

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 29 2014 04:52 PM | Updated as of Dec 30 2014 07:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Are you still using old peso bills?

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Monday said it will start withdrawing old bank notes from circulation starting January 1, 2015.

The old bank notes' design has been used since 1985.

Old bank notes

BSP Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo said the demonetization process for the old peso bills will run from January 1 to December 31, 2015.

He said the public may still use the old peso bills to buy goods and services in 2015, but these will no longer be accepted for payment starting January 1, 2016.

However, the public can still exchange their old bills for the new generation currency bank notes at banks and BSP offices and branches around the country from January 1, 2015 until end-2016.

Filipinos who live abroad will still have a chance to exchange their old notes.

"For overseas Filipinos abroad, who have in their possession (old) bank notes which could not be exchanged within the prescribed period, they may register online starting October 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015 through the BSP website,” Guinigundo said.

They will be given a year from their date of registration to exchange the old bank notes at BSP offices and branches.

The BSP said government institutions who are holding on to old bank notes, which are used in cases, may request the BSP Cash Department for a special exchange arrangement.

If you fail to exchange your old bank notes, Guinigundo warned that starting January 1, 2017, these will "no longer have any monetary value, and are considered demonetized."

At present, there are 729 million pieces of the old bank notes, with a value of P192 billion, in circulation.

New generation currency notes

The withdrawal of the old bank notes, Guinigundo said, will allow for the circulation of a single currency series in the Philippines -- the "new generation currency" bank notes.

The BSP launched the new generation currency bank notes in December 2010. Printing of the old bank notes stopped in 2013.

"Why do we need to demonetize from the perspective of the Bangko Sentral? We want to align with the practice of other central banks around the world which normally change the currency design every 10 years,” Guinigundo said.

"Secondly, we want to safeguard the integrity of the Philippine bank notes, and this has something to do with security and our drive against counterfeiting," he said.