Banknotes of the Philippine peso
Banknotes of the Philippine peso and piso are issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) for circulation in the Philippines. The smallest amount of legal tender in wide circulation is 20 piso and the largest is 1000 piso. The front side of each banknote features prominent people in the country's history while the reverse side depicts landmarks and events in history. While the 5- and 10-piso denominations have been concurrently offered in coins in recent years, the 5- and 10-piso notes have not been demonetized.
History of Philippine banknotes
On May 1, 1852, the first commercial bank of the Philippines, El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel 2A issued the following denominations initially 10, 25, 50 and 200 pesos fuertes (strong pesos). They were used until 1896.
During the First Philippine Republic, President Emilio Aguinaldo ordered the issuing of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 pesos banknotes which shall be signed by Messengers: Pedro A. Paterno, Telesforo Chuidan and Mariano Limjap to avoid counterfeiting. But they printed and circulated to some areas only the 1 and 5 pesos banknotes due to the short-living of the government.
By 1903, The American Insular Government issued the Silver Certificates in the denominations 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 pesos backed by Silver Coin or U.S. Gold at a fixed rate of 2:1. In 1908, the El Banco Español Filipino was allowed to print banknotes in the following denominations with text in Spanish: Cinco, Diez, Viente, Cincuenta, Cien and Dos Cientos Pesos. In 1912, the bank changed to the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and issued the same banknotes in English. In 1918, the Silver Certificates were replaced by the Treasury Certificates issued with government-backing of bonds issued by the United States Government in the following denominations: One, Two, Five, Ten, Twenty, Fifty, One Hundred and Five Hundred Pesos. In 1916, the Philippine National Bank (PNB) was created to administer the state-holding shares and print banknotes without any quota from the Philippine Assembly. They printed banknotes in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos. During World War I, the PNB issued emergency notes printed on cardboard paper in the following denominations: 10, 20, 50 centavos and 1 peso. Also overprinted BPI Notes in Five, Ten and Twenty Pesos due to the lack of currency.
The Commonwealth of the Philippines issued Treasury Certificates with the seal of the new government but still circulated the BPI and PNB banknotes.
During World War II, competing authorities issued banknotes for the Philippines, under the auspices of the Japanese Military Administration and by virtue of authority granted by the President of the Philippines of the Commonwealth for emergency currency to be issued by provincial currency boards. The emergency notes were deemed legal tender and were pledged to be redeemable upon the end of the Japanese Occupation.
Upon the restoration of the Commonwealth government, pre-war notes were redeemed and in 1949, a central monetary authority, the Central Bank of the Philippines, was established. With the creation of the Central Bank, the practice of multiple banks having the authority to issue banknotes ended.
The banknotes first issued by today's Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (formerly the "Central Bank of the Philippines") were the VICTORY-CBP Overprints in 1949, which were merely overprints of older American-era banknotes. The first official banknote series to be printed were the English Series in 1951, which was followed by the Filipino Series in 1969. After the declaration of Proclamation No. 1081 by Ferdinand Marcos on September 23, 1972 the Central Bank was to demonetize the existing banknotes in 1973. All the unissued Filipino Series 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 piso banknotes were sent back to the De La Rue plant in London for overprinting the watermark area with the words "ANG BAGONG LIPUNAN" and oval geometric safety design.
On September 7, 1978, the Security Printing Plant in Quezon City was inaugurated to produce the banknotes. Many special events occurred during the Marcos Administration, so the Central Bank, aside from minting expensive commemorative coins overprinted circulating banknotes. The first was in 1978 for the birth centenary of former President Sergio Osmeña the words IKA-100 TAONG KAARAWAN 1878-1978 beautifully placed near the portrait of Sergio Osmeña on the 50-piso banknote. The next overprint was in 1981 when Pope John Paul II visited the Philippines from February 17 to February 21, 1981 the overprint was on the 2-piso banknote on the watermark area. Also on June 30, 1981 the bust profile of President Ferdinand E. Marcos on the 10-piso banknote was overprinted for the Presidential Inauguration on that date. In 1981,the Central Bank Ad Hoc Committee was authorized to approve or disapprove designs of circulating banknotes and coins, also commemorative banknotes and coins. By 1983, the Committee was deciding the issuing of new banknotes to replace the Ang Bagong Lipunan Series by issuing seven new banknotes consisting of 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, 500- and 1000-piso banknotes.
On June 12, 1985, the Central Bank issued the New Design Series starting with a new 5-piso banknote with the face of Emilio Aguinaldo. The following months, a new 10-piso banknote with the face of Apolinario Mabini. In early 1986, a new 20-piso banknote appeared. After the 1986 People Power Revolution and the new 1987 Constitution was promulgated, the Central Bank issued a new 50-, 100- and for the second time a new 500-piso banknote with the face of Benigno Aquino, Jr.. In 1991, the Central Bank issued for the first time a new 1000-piso banknote, containing the portraits of Jose Abad Santos, Josefa Llanes Escoda and Vicente Lim.
After the passage of the New Central Bank Act of 1993, the New Design Series, which was initiated in 1985, was slightly changed because of new seal of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. In 1998, the 100,000-piso Centennial banknote, measuring 8.5"x14", accredited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest legal tender note. It was issued in very limited quantity during the celebration of the Centennial of Philippine Independence. In 2001, the Bangko Sentral issued upgraded 1000-,500- and 100-piso banknotes with new hi-tech security features to combat counterfeiting. During the Estrada Administration, the practice in use since the Commonwealth, of reproducing the signature of the President of the Philippines over the legend "President of the Philippines" was abandoned in favor of explicitly stating the president's name. In 2002, the Bangko Sentral issued a new 200-piso banknote with the security features found on the upgraded 1000-, 500- and 100-piso banknotes and has the face of former President Diosdado Macapagal. His daughter, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is at the back of the 200-piso banknote which showed her being sworn into office at the EDSA Shrine. She is the first president whose image has been included in a banknote while in office since emergency currency was issued by various provincial currency boards during World War II.
In 2009, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas announced that it was contemplating a massive redesign for current banknotes and coins to further enhance security features and improve durability. <ref> BSP considering new designs of coins and notes vs. counterfeiting (filipinonumismatist.com) </ref> The numismatic committee is responsible for finalizing the design including Bangko Sentral Deputy Gov. Diwa Guinigundo along with Ambeth Ocampo and Dr. Jimmy Laya, members of the National Historical Institute. The redesigned banknotes will include the new 500 peso bill that will feature former President Corazon Aquino together with husband Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. It is expected that the new set of banknotes will go to print before the end of 2010 after the approval of the Monetary Board and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. <ref> Design for P500 bill with Aquino couple out soon (Philippine Star) </ref>
The 5-piso note was issued by the Central Bank on June 12, 1985. The front side of the 5-peso banknote features the portrait of Emilio Aguinaldo. The back of the banknote features the Philippine declaration of independence by Emilio Aguinaldo on June 12, 1898.
The banknote is predominantly colored green.
Security features of the banknote include a security thread, scattered red & blue visible fibers, and fluorescent printing.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has stopped printing this banknote, and it is currently being replaced by equivalent coins. However, existing banknotes remain legal tender.
Bonifacio was the founder of the Katipunan (KKK), a secret society established to fight the Spanish colonial government. Mabini was the Philippines first Prime Minister and Secretary of Foreign Affairs even though he was a cripple. Because of this, he was often called "The Sublime Paralytic". Depicted on the right side is one of the flags of the Katipunan (see Flags of the Philippine Revolution), the Kartilya ng Katipunan, and a letter written by Mabini.
The reverse side of the banknote features the Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan, site of the first Philippine Congress and where the Malolos Constitution was drafted. The right portion depicts the initiation rites of the Katipunan. Members accepted into the society had to sign their name on the society's roster using their own blood. The design was previously used on the 5 piso "Ang Bagong Lipunan" note.
The banknote is predominantly colored brown.
Before 1998, the 10-piso banknote only depicted Mabini and the Barasoain Church. In recent years, the new banknote has been replaced with a bi-metallic 10-piso coin also bearing the effigies of Bonifacio and Mabini.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has stopped printing this banknote. However, existing banknotes of both versions remain legal tender.
The front side of the 20-piso banknote features Manuel L. Quezon, first president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. Along the right side of the banknote are the coat-of-arms of the Commonwealth, and two of Quezon's notable accomplishments. The first is "Wikang Pambansâ", which is Tagalog for "national language". In 1937, the National Language Institute was founded to establish a single national language for the Philippines. This eventually became the Filipino language, which is largely based on Tagalog. The second was the "Saligang Batas 1935" or the 1935 Constitution of the Philippines. This was the first real constitution that was nationally effected and large parts of it survive in the current constitution.
The banknote is predominantly colored orange.
The reverse side of the 20-piso banknote depicts Malacañan Palace, more popularly known as Malacañang Palace, the residence of the President of the Philippines, along the banks of the Pasig River. Quezon was the first Philippine president to live in the Palace.
Depicted on the front side of the fifty-piso is Sergio Osmeña, the second president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. He served as president from 1944, after Quezon's death, to 1946, when the United States granted the Philippines' independence.
The banknote is predominantly colored red.
The National Museum is featured on the reverse side of the banknote. This building used to be the Legislative Building, where the House of Representatives that Osmena presided over as Speaker from 1907-1922 was located. The building and then renamed Executive House during the Martial Law period and was labeled as such in the fifty-piso banknote until recently.
The front side of the 100-piso banknote features Manuel Roxas, the first president of the independent Philippine Republic. This independence is shown at the right side where the Philippine flag was raised while that of the United States was lowered on July 4, 1946.
The banknote is predominantly colored violet.
The reverse side of the banknote depicts the Manila compound of the Bangko Sentral.
The 100-piso banknote is the smallest-valued banknote to have the new security features implemented in recent years. But before the advent of the new security features, the 100-piso banknote is interesting for having other security features. On the front side is a barely visible "100" logo above the signatures of the president and the Central Bank governor. This logo is best seen on crisp new 100-piso banknotes. On the reverse side, the top row of windows of the main building has the words "Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas" ("Central Bank of the Philippines") running the whole length.
The 100-piso banknote became the subject of controversy after banknotes printed in France in time for the Christmas season were printed with the President's name misspelled, the first in Philippine history. The banknotes, of which a small amount are still in circulation and are still legal tender, spelled the President's name as "Gloria Macapagal-Arrovo" versus the correct Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The incident was subsequently the subject of public humor as soon as the issue made national headlines. The BSP probed the mistake and corrected the error afterwards.
The back side of the banknote features a scene from EDSA II, with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Macapagal's daughter, being sworn in as president by Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. in January 2001. The little girl holding a Bible in between Arroyo and Davide is Cecilia Paz Razon Abad, daughter of former Philippine Education Secretary Florencio Abad and Batanes Representative Henedina Razon-Abad. 
The banknote was the subject of criticism by the opposition. They said that the legal tender should only feature deceased national heroes and not an incumbent President. Although, it wasn't the first time that a legal tender featured a sitting President. Legal tender coinage was minted to commemorate the inauguration of Manuel L. Quezon as President of the Philippines in 1935. Emergency currency during World War II had many instances where provincial emergency currency boards placed the image of then President Manuel L. Quezon. In 1975, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas released a 5-piso coin featuring the face of then President Ferdinand Marcos. Former Presidents Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada was also pictured in a limited commemorative 2000-piso banknote that honors the 100-year celebration of Philippine Independence. Also a limited commemorative gold 1000-piso banknote with the picture of former President Joseph Estrada was also issued to honor the 100-year celebration of Philippine Independence. Also, every banknote series since 1935 has borne the facsimile signature of the incumbent President of the Philippines.
Some critics including "running priest" Fr. Robert Reyes also pointed out that featuring Gloria Arroyo in the 200-piso note could be an electioneering tactic ahead of the 2004 Philippine elections. 
The front side of the 500-piso banknote features the portrait of Benigno Aquino, Jr.. To the right of the banknote, there are two popular quotes from Aquino: "Faith in our people and faith in God", and "The Filipino is worth dying for". There is also the signature of Aquino, a typewriter with his initials ("B.S.A.J."), and a dove of peace. A Philippine flag is also to the right of his portrait, near the central part of the front side.
The reverse side features a collage of various images in relation to Aquino. He was (out of some of the pictures) a journalist for the Manila Times, a senator (the pioneer of the Study Now, Pay Later education program), the mayor in his hometown of Concepcion, the governor of Tarlac, and was the main driving force behind the People Power Revolution of 1986, some three years after his death in 1983.
The banknote is predominantly colored yellow.
It is also interesting to note that unlike the names of the figures on the bills, "Benigno S. Aquino, Jr." is written in gold-colored, cursive writing with a green laurel wreath as opposed to the name being simply written as with the other banknotes.
Before this note was printed, the 500-piso banknote was to have Ferdinand Marcos and its back was the Batasang Pambansa Complex until the People Power Revolution when it was replaced by the current 500-piso banknote. Remnants of this version of the banknote are only for media purposes.
On August 16, 2009, a proposal [artwork by Revo C. Naval of www.peaceloveandrevolution.com] was made by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to have president Cory Aquino accompany Ninoy Aquino in the banknote.
The front side of the 1,000-piso banknote features the portraits of Jose Abad Santos, Chief Justice; Josefa Llanes Escoda, civic worker and one of the founders of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines; and Vicente Lim, a general in the Philippine Army, first Filipino graduate of West Point: the three are considered heroes of the resistance against the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. It also features the eternal flame, laurel leaves, and bank seal.
The banknote is predominantly colored blue.
Security features of the banknote include optically variable ink, a security thread, scattered red & blue visible fibers, and fluorescent printing. The words "Central Bank of the Philippines" are microprinted in the lower left border on the face of the note.
The Central Bank of the Philippines issued only 300,000 pieces of this 216mmx133mm 2,000 Philippine piso centennial commemorative legal tender banknote.
The obverse side features President Joseph Estrada taking his oath of office on June 30, 1998 in the historic Barasoain Church, the seat of the first democratic republic in Asia shown in the background as well as the scroll of the Malolos Constitution and the seal of the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas).
The reverse side depicts the re-enactment of the declaration of Philippine Independence at the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1998 by President Fidel V. Ramos and also features the Philippine Centennial Commission logo.
The security features of the note include a 3-dimensional cylinder mold-made portrait watermark of the two presidents and the years 1898-1998, iridescent band, color-shift windowed security thread, latent image and perfect see-through register.
The 100,000-piso centennial note, measuring 8.5"x14", is accredited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest legal tender note in terms of size. It was issued in very limited quantity during the celebration of the centennial of Philippine independence in 1998.  
The 100-piso banknote with the Oblation
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has finally issued 100-piso banknotes with an overprint of the iconic UP Oblation to commemorate the centennial of the University of the Philippines (UP). Bangko Sentral printed 10 million pieces of the 100-piso banknotes with the oblation overprint. At its launching, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr. presented to UP President Emerlinda Roman a whole sheet with 32 pieces of the 100-piso UP centennial banknotes.
According to UP President Roman, the 4-piece uncut notes being sold for P1000 a set took P500 to produce. That means for every set you buy, you are also contributing P500 for the development of UP.
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