The new P1000 polymer bill is finally here and it looks amazing. It boasts a number of new features that makes it a definite glow-up compared to its old design. But in spite of the new material and sleek design, some Filipinos are voicing their concerns about the removal of the images of our heroes, as well as the polymer bills’ impact on local industries.
The Philippine Eagle is the main star
One of the most noticeable (and most controversial) changes to the new P1000 bill is the omission of the three World War II heroes in its design. Josefa Llanes Escoda, Vicente Lim, and Jose Abad Santos’ portraits were replaced with the Philippine Eagle. Late last year, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said that the new design will focus more on the flora and fauna of the Philippines instead of its heroes.
The reverse design of the bill remains the same. There’s an image of the South Sea Pearl, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, and the T’nalak weave design.
It has clear windows
Aside from the huge image of the Philippine eagle staring at you, the new P1000 bill also has a new feature that wowed everyone. The right panel has a clear window bearing a number of things: The 3D denomination, the seal of the Republic of the Philippines, the BSP logo, an iridescent blue figure, and a tactile stylized flying eagle. The left panel also features a small, clear window with the Sampaguita image.
It even has a braille feature
One of the best additions is the braille feature of five embossed dots at the upper part of the bill. This ensures visually challenged Filipinos can still recognize the bill by touch.
The polymer banknote is more hygienic
The new P1000 banknotes are made from dirt-resistant polymer instead of cotton and abaca. These are expected to be more durable as well as cost-effective, water-resistant, and sustainable. BSP says that polymer banknotes have a smaller carbon footprint since their production requires less water, energy, and other resources.
The new bill is also a response to health and safety concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Polymer bills can be sanitized with less risk of damage, making them a more hygienic alternative to paper banknotes,” said BSP in a statement.
A blow to the abaca industry?
While the new design is a cool upgrade, there are some concerns surrounding the redesign. The old bills are made of 80% cotton and 20% abaca fiber, but BSP has replaced them with plastic which gave an entirely different look and feel.
Back in November 2021, The Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PHilFIDA) also voiced its concerns about the bill redesign. “BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) promotes plastic by shifting to polymer banknotes versus the biodegradable abaca which is the strongest, the longest, and the most porous natural fiber in the world. Not to mention its permeability and excellent tear and bursting. It’s our job to protect our homegrown industry,” says PhilFIDA executive director Kennedy Costales.
“If they really want to test the banknote’s lifespan, they have to try it with widely-circulated denominations such as PHP50 and PHP100. Not all Filipinos got the chance to hold PHP1,000,” Costales added.
Some netizens aren’t happy about the new banknote
Netizens also had a few qualms about the new P1000 bill. They voiced their concerns for the abaca industry that will be affected by the shift to polymer bills. Some also expressed dismay over the new design removing our WWII heroes.
“It is made of plastic,” captioned one Facebook user. “Kawawa naman yung mga abaca strippers dito sa isla, this is something that we shouldn’t be proud of lalo na at alam nating no.1 producer ng abaca ang isla.”
What do you think of the new P1000 polymer bill? Let us know in the comments!