NEW PESO BILLS carrying the signature of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno will be in circulation in the next few months.

Mr. Diokno, who took the helm of the central bank on March 6, said new banknotes bearing his signature will be out within the next three months.

The former Budget secretary was appointed as BSP chief to replace the late Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr., who passed away Feb. 23 after battling tongue cancer.

Mr. Diokno will serve Mr. Espenilla’s remaining four-year term, which expires July 2023.

Following his appointment, Mr. Diokno’s name and signature will soon be included in peso bills circulated in the economy. It will appear on the front of the notes to the right of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s signature.

Under Republic Act 7653 or the New Central Bank Act, the BSP is given the sole power to issue currency used in the Philippines.

The BSP prints bills and mints coins at its Security Plant Complex along East Avenue in Quezon City.

The central bank issues bills worth P20, P50, P100, P200, P500, and P1,000 under a new design since 2010, having demonetized the old New Design Series which have been in use since 1985.

The design and security features of bills and coins are constantly being updated to guard against counterfeiting. New coin designs have also been circulated last year.

M1, or the narrowest measure of money in an economy, stood at P3.829 trillion as of February, according to latest available BSP data. On the other hand, overall domestic liquidity stood at P11.497 trillion as of the period, which grew by 7.1% from a year ago.

Mr. Diokno has said in previous weeks that he is seeing “room to ease” key policy rates as well as an opportunity to reduce the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) imposed on big banks. However, he and the Monetary Board voted to keep benchmark rates and bank reserves steady during their March 21 meeting.

BSP Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo said they need to see actual inflation readings and price expectations to be well within their 2-4% target range alongside real tightness in money supply conditions before they can consider slashing the RRR. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez