Spend those old bank notes or exchange them before Jan. 1, 2017 | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

If you keep sizeable amounts of money at home—in a sock or a pillow case, under a mattress or floorboard, or in a safe—better check if they include bank notes issued before December 2010, the so-called new design series (NDS) bills.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is in the process of demonetizing or withdrawing from circulation these old bills. BSP says the NDS bank notes “that have been in circulation for almost three decades” can be used for daily transactions only until Dec. 31. “The public may continue to use the old bank notes up to Dec. 31 in paying for and buying goods and services and for other business or financial transactions requiring the use of cash,” BSP deputy governor Diwa C. Guinigundo says.

By Jan. 1, you will have to exchange those bills, if you still have them, at authorized banks or the BSP cash department to enjoy their full value.

Serial number

“Starting Jan. 1, 2017, NDS bank notes that have not been exchanged shall no longer have any monetary value and are considered demonetized,” Guinigundo points out.

The NDS bank notes will be replaced completely by New Generation Currency (NGC) bills that went into circulation in December 2010 which, he explains, “have more and enhanced security features to protect the safety of the public against counterfeiters.”

How will you know if the currency you’re holding is NDS or NGC?

Colors are different, among other things, but I think the easiest way is to check the serial number. In the NDS, the digits in the serial number are all the same size, while in the NGC every digit is larger than the one before it.

So don’t be stuck with worthless currency. Use your NDS bills now or exchange them for the NGC bank notes.

Miriam’s bill

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a bill that will penalize drivers and operators of the jeepneys they drive for stopping anywhere and everywhere, including the middle of the street.

The practice does not only cause traffic jams but actually endangers the lives of passengers. People have been injured or even killed as they try to board jeepneys that stop in the middle of the road.

Santiago’s bill will also fine passengers who do not wait for rides in designated jeepney stops.

Implementation, of course, will be the problem if the bill becomes a law. But every day we see on Ayala Avenue in Makati City that people will follow rules if they know they have to. They get on and off public utility vehicles (PUVs) only in designated places. And PUVs, including taxis, pick up and drop off passengers only in those places.

Passenger queues for jeepneys or buses may extend two blocks but people wait patiently, knowing that they are unlikely to get a ride if they do not stand in line.

Skeptics may say Santiago’s bill will only give traffic enforcement officials a new source of “income.” Violators will likely be asked to pay a “discounted” fine to make the problem go away.

But I think that as long as any offense will cost the violator, there is a better chance that rules will be observed. After all, even the “discounted” rate is still money lost.

However, what I really want is for the government to have the political will to phase out the jeepney. It is an inconvenient, dangerous, uncomfortable and inefficient means of transport. One big bus can keep at least 10 jeepneys off the road. A reliable light rail transit system can replace about 100 jeepneys.

Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail lbolido@

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