THE central bank has circulated 29 million pieces of the enhanced New Generation Currency (NGC) worth P24.5 billion, with the new bills expected to replace all banknotes in the financial system by 2023, its chief said.

“This means that more of our countrymen are able to use these more inclusive and more secure Philippine banknotes in making their daily transactions,” said Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said in an online briefing on Thursday.

The enhanced NGC banknote series started circulation in late July. The latest version of the bills include enhanced security features that make them harder to be counterfeited. Among these are the roller bar effect on their value panels, dynamic movement of design patterns and color-shifting ink.

The new banknotes are also embedded with tactile marks for easier distinction for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

The bills are engraved with pairs of short horizontal bands engraved at the extreme right and left side. The P50 bill has one pair of marks; two pairs for the P100 bill and so on, with five pairs for the P1,000 banknote.

The enhanced NGC series did not include the P20 bill as the central bank decided to make the denomination only in coin for efficiency as coins have longer lifespans.

The revamped bills are expected to be the only edition in circulation by 2023, Mr. Diokno said.

However, for now, the BSP said the enhanced NGC as well as the prior version are coexisting until earlier banknotes are withdrawn from circulation due to wear and tear.

Mr. Diokno earlier said central banks tweak their banknotes every decade on average to protect the integrity of their currencies. — L.W.T. Noble