Solon urges BSP to recall new coins to avoid confusion

MANILA An administration lawmaker on Wednesday called on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to immediately recall all of its newly released coins because of "serious design flaws" that cause a lot of confusion among the public.

Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Rep. Jericho Nograles said the new coins failed to meet the basic design principles for coinage, which require that the denominations are easy to distinguish not just visually, but also through touch or tactile differences.

"How many times have you reached into your pocket while inside a cramped jeepney and ended up paying the driver more than you should because you gave him the new five-peso coins instead of one-peso coins? Probably more than once already," he said.

"In this case, we can't even fault the driver for not calling your attention on the wrong payment since they usually just glance at the coin before placing it in their money box. These innocent mistakes happen in commercial establishments too," he added.

The new one-peso, five-peso, and ten-peso coins are now released for circulation to the general public. The BSP claims that the new coins are a product of design study of more than two years.

Nograles pointed out that the designs were initiated during the Aquino administration, noting the lack of consultation with jeepney, pedicab, tricycle, and taxi drivers, or even the visually-impaired and senior citizens.

The partylist lawmaker also said that the new coins could have a negative economic impact on labor and industry.

Aside from the unintended overpayments and underpayments from tactile and visual confusion, the vending machine industry will be badly affected, he noted.

Dispensers in public restrooms will have to be redesigned and replaced as their coin slots are rendered obsolete. Vending machines in office buildings and school campuses will need hardware and software upgrades. Even coin organizers of cashiers in toll booths, ticket outlets, and banks, among others, would be useless Nograles said.

He said the BSP can still suspend and recall the new coins and consider revising the designs.

The primary consideration of the BSP was to produce cheaper and stronger coins. That's fine, however, they can at least match the weight, diameter and thickness of the widely circulated coins, so people will not be confused and machines will no longer be replaced, Nograles said.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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