P10 bills spark confusion in South Cotabato

A van driver who only gave his name as “Ronnie” told Bombo Radyo here that a ticketing booth operated by the city government at a giant mall here has not been accepting P10 bills.


Transport operators are required to pay a certain amount to the city government before they are allowed to ply the route, otherwise they would be penalized since the revenue-generating measure is mandated under an ordinance.


“It’s unfair since we accept P10 bills from our passengers. Moreover, we have not heard or seen oi]n television that the Central Bank has ordered that P10 bills have been demonetized,” the driver said.


He said the ticket booth in-charge does not accept P10  bills from drivers allegedly due to “orders from higher ups.”


Ten peso bills have become scarce with the introduction of the P10 coins.


The  van driver declined suggestions to line up  at the banks to change the P10 bills into coins.


“It’s just a big hassle…lining up for a few P10 bills. What we want to know is if it is not anymore a legal tender so we would not anymore accept them from passengers,” he said.


Agustin F. Lacbayo, branch head of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in nearby General Santos City, said the P10 and even P5 bills are still legal tender.


“They have not been demonetized. The Central Bank has not ordered a recall for these notes. They are still acceptable legal tender,” he said.


But even with a demonetization order, Lacbayo pointed out that there’s still a grace period of one year for these notes to be changed either at BSP branches or any local bank.


He said the banks are mandated to change the notes from anyone, in case there is a demonetization order, and these financial institutions can redeem them at the Bangko Sentral.


Lacbayo said the law is unclear on what to do with people who do not accept money still in circulation.


“What is clear in our law is that on money counterfeiting. This is punishable,” he said.


Lacbayo, however, said that the supply of P10 and P5 bills in the region are “very minimal.”