By Roi Lomotan
Officials from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Dumaguete City Branch discouraged the public from washing paper bills and coins as a method of disinfecting money, as this will destroy the integrity of the banknotes.
BSP-Dumaguete City Branch Acting Deputy Director Juliet Gadingan and BSP Financial Literacy Learning Center Manager Dr. Greg Baccay III reiterated this reminder from their central office during the PIA-IATF-EID “Straight from the Source” Press Briefing yesterday.
“We don’t encourage people to disinfect the notes because iyahang security features mawala. Ma-mutilate ang notes. Since naa naman ang virus dire sa atoa and everyday ga-handle ta ug kwarta, we just observe health protocols kanang handwashing ug disinfecting hands with alcohol (We don’t encourage people to disinfect the bank notes because it destroys the security features. Aside from this, it is also a form of mutilation. Since there is a possibility that the virus could circulate and we touch money every day, our advice is to observe health protocols especially handwashing and disinfecting of hands with alcohol),” Gadigan stressed.
Baccay also warned the public that doing such things can be considered as violation of Presidential Decree 247.
“For example, atong pasiritan ug alcohol or labhan or bas-on ug tubig (if we spray alcohol or wash it), that will actually mutilate or damage sa atong kwarta (our money). Remember, that is made of cotton and abaca. That will actually absorb moisture or water content,” Baccay disclosed.
PD 247 mandates that it is unlawful to willfully deface, mutilate, tear, burn or destroy in any manner currency notes or coins issued by the Central Bank of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Gadingan also cited an initial conclusion made by the European Central Bank when they conducted a test on transferability and virus survivability through touch transfer in banknotes, where it was reported that transmission of virus by touching money is low and the risk of virus transfer seems to be possible on the first hour.
“Maba ra kaayo ang probability na ma-transfer ang virus from banknotes to finger. The survivability result show significantly lower virus levels on cash banknotes and coins compared to stainless steel materials and plastic. Mas taas gyud ang survivability sa virus sa mga stainless steel and plastic rather sa banknotes and coins (The probability of transmitting the virus from banknotes to finger contact is low. The survivability result show significantly lower virus levels on cash banknotes and coins compared to stainless steel materials and plastic. The survivability of virus in stainless steel and plastic is high compared to banknotes and coins),” Gadingan explained.
Paper bills that are dirty, unfit, or worn out can be exchanged for clean and fit notes in any bank.
BSP assures that fit notes circulating in the community have undergone disinfection procedures by the agency.