ILOILO City – When in doubt, throw it out. The Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) has cautioned the public against counterfeit peso bills circulating this holiday season.

“When you are doubting the money’s authenticity, do not accept it, especially the big bills such as P1,000 and P500. These are the common peso bills being faked by criminal syndicates,” said Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, regional police director.

He urged people victimized by counterfeit money to immediately report to the police.

Section 8 of Circular No. 829 Series of 2014 of the Office of the Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) states: “No person or entity, public or private, shall design, engrave, print, make or execute in any other manner, or issue, distribute, circulate or use any handbill, advertisement, placard, circular, card or any other object whatsoever, bearing the facsimile, likeness or similitude of any legal tender Philippine currency note, or any part thereof, whether in black and white or any combination of colors, without prior authority thereof having been secured from the Governor, BSP, or his duly authorized representative.”

Violators face imprisonment of not less than five years but not more than 10 years.

“We also encourage the public to be familiar with the security features of the New Generation Philippine Currency. Let us not allow fake money syndicates to take advantage of us this season,” said Bulalacao.

BSP Currency Issue and Integrity Officer Fernando de Leon noted three things are in order when checking the authenticity of banknotes — feel, look and tilt.

Feel the banknote and check the “Republika ng Pilipinas” markings and the portraits. The paper must feel rough as though the prints are slightly elevated as the prints are actually embossed. If the bill is too smooth, it is most likely a fake.

Look at the bill and scrutinize the printing. Authentic bills have detailed prints, even the hairs of the Philippine heroes contain watermarks that are revealed when the banknote is held against the light, while security fibers show under electronic detectors.

Tilt the bill and review if the concealed value of the banknote corresponds with the value printed.

“Better be wary and vigilant than becoming a victim. We will help prevent the proliferation of fake bills and be ready to arrest the counterfeiters,” said Bulalacao./PN


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