Somebody recently gave me a big alkansiya (coin bank). After I started putting P5 and P10 coins in it, I wondered if saving money this way would affect the supply of coins and make it difficult for establishments and public utility vehicles (PUVs) to give exact change.
Since the minimum fare is now P8.50, would PUVs have enough coins to ensure passengers were not shortchanged, even if people continued to put money in piggy banks? The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has encouraged saving, but wouldn’t piggy banks cause another problem—coin shortage?
Fe de la Cruz, BSP public affairs director, said they did encourage people, particularly children, to save regularly, telling them “that wealth creation can start with the barya.” BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said barya is important when taken together.
While BSP had no objections to people keeping coin banks, De la Cruz said, “What we have been asking them to do is to release the coins regularly—every month is ideal—and not to keep them for long periods. We advise that they exchange their coins for banknotes that they can deposit in banks…”
She added: “While the BSP continues to produce coins, there are sectors—supermarkets, transport, retailers—that do not get enough to give exact change to customers.”
As for consumers’ complaints that certain establishments, and PUV drivers, in particular, would not accept barya, De la Cruz said jeepney operators and drivers promised to encourage people to use coins.
As Zeny Maranan, president of Fejodap (Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines), admitted, they would need smaller denomination coins, as the discounted fares for students and senior citizens is P6.80.
De la Cruz stressed there are enough coins “but we need to cooperate in circulating these regularly and efficiently.”
Unhappy ‘TV shopper’
Liza asked this column to share her “very disappointing experience with TV shopping” so readers would be careful and vigilant.
Persuaded by video demonstrations on television of how easy it is to cook better and tastier food using Relance pots, she bought the brand’s six-piece cookware set. “I was particularly interested in the big pot, as that was the size I still did not have,” Liza said.
She contacted the dealer late last year and two days after her call, the product was delivered in a sealed box.
“I was not around when the neatly sealed and packed box was delivered and was able to check the contents only the next day. Much to my dismay, the big cookware was not in the box—there were two medium and two small pieces, plus the free steamer,” she said.
She reported the discrepancy that same day, and was assured the box would be pulled out and replaced the following day.
When the day passed without the delivery, she made follow-up calls and was repeatedly assured that the matter was being attended to.
Sensing the company was not as concerned about the problem, Liza said she told them to cancel the order and return her money.
Liza was told the logistics department would call her. When the staff did, she was told that the unwanted product would be collected.
That was in December. By February, or more than two months later, she said nobody called to ask about the product or to collect it.
Liza asked, “How can consumers be protected from the inefficiency of telemarketing?”
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