THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) has rolled out new designs for coins, with the latest currency series to come in silver but carry varying features for distinction.

BSP Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo unveiled the new generation currency (NGC) coins on Monday, saying that the central bank will “start releasing” the designs to the public via banks.

The coins are made of nickel-plated steel to be more durable, resulting in a metallic silver color for all denominations. This will likewise deter illegal hoarding for the extraction of metal content, which was a problem for the old set of coins.

The varied sizes and designs of the series should enable the public to distinguish one from the other, Mr. Guinigundo said, explaining that consumers should feel the coins and realize that “it is difficult actually to make a mistake” in setting each one apart.

The series varies in diameter from the 27-millimeter (mm) P10 coin to the 15-mm one centavo.

The new P10 coin will carry the head shot of hero Apolinario Mabini one one side and a stylized kapa-kapa plant on the reverse. The coin’s edge carries continuous lines with a stylized lettering of the words “Bangko Sentral.”

The new P1 coin under the new design carries the face of national hero Jose Rizal and the waling-waling flower at the back. Its edge bears intermittent reeds.

The 25-centavo, five-centavo and one-centavo coins will carry the iconic three stars and a sun design on a stylized rendition of the Philippine flag.

The 25-centavo will come with the katmon flower and a plain edge; the five-centavo will have the kapal-kapal baging plant and an edge with reeds; while the one-centavo coin will have the mangkono plant and a plain edge.

The P5 coin, circulated as early as December last year, carries the face of Andres Bonifacio — replacing former president Emilio Aguinaldo — and the tayabak plant on the reverse. The coin comes with a smooth edge.

The coins also carry enhanced security features, including micro-printed details using laser technology for the P5 and P10 denominations to deter counterfeiting.

At the same time, the BSP has decided to drop the 10-centavo coin in response to low use.

Initial production involved 139.567 million pieces of the new coin series, BSP officials said.

Coins currently in circulation have been in use since 1995.

Mr. Guinigundo said the BSP has not yet set a demonetization schedule for the old coins and that these will still be accepted for day-to-day transactions alongside the new coin series.

The BSP has the sole authority to issue money for general use.

Central banks regularly change the design of bills and coins to elevate security standards against counterfeiting.

The central bank prints bills and mints coins at its Security Plant Complex along East Avenue in Quezon City. The new coin series is expected to reduce minting expenses for the BSP, as nickel is a lot cheaper than metal alloy.

This follows the NGC bills released by the BSP starting 2010, which replaced the 1985 design series for paper money. The old bills have been rendered unusable for day-to-day transactions since 2016.

Under the New Central Bank Act, the BSP can replace money which have been in use for over five years. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez