Washing, soaking money to disinfect violates the law, BSP warns

Marje Pelayo   •   August 19, 2020   •   1358

MANILA, Philippines —The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) advises the public to refrain from soaking banknotes in detergent soap, bleach solution and other chemicals.

“Iwasang ibabad o wisikan ang salaping papel at barya ng tubig at sabong panlaba, alcohol, bleach, at iba pang kemikal (Refrain from soaking or misting paper bills or coins with soap, alcohol, bleach or other chemical solutions),” the agency said in its advisory.

The BSP said washing or laundering money may destroy its features and such an act would constitute a penalty under the Constitution.

“Ang pamamaraang ito ay itinuturing na ‘acts of mutilation or destruction of Philippine currency'” at may kalakip na kaparusahan alinsunod sa probisyon ng PD No. 247 (This method is considered an “act of mutilation or destruction of Philippine currency” and is punishable under the provision of PD. No. 247),” the agency added.

Fear of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has led to creative approaches to avoid infection.

However, the BSP says washing money is not a good idea.

Under Presidential Decree 247, any act of defacing, mutilating, tearing, burning or destroying central bank notes and coins incurs a fine of more than P20,000 and/or by imprisoned for not more than five years.

Instead of washing, the BSP recommends maintaining proper hygiene and practicing proper hand washing after touching bank notes and coins.

“Para maiwasan ang pagkalat ng #COVID19, kailangang gawin ang proper hygiene at ituring ang pera na katulad ng ibang mga bagay na laging hinahawakan (To avoid the spread of COVID-19, it is important to practice proper hygiene and treat bank notes as regular objects that are frequently touched),” the agency said.

“Ugaliin ang paghuhugas ng kamay at pag-iwas sa paghawak ng mukha pagkatapos humawak ng pera (Practice regular hand washing and refrain from touching your face after touching money),” it added.

BSP assures execs facing graft raps before Ombudsman will answer in proper forum

Robie de Guzman   •   January 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday assured that its officials who are facing graft complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman will respond in an appropriate forum.

The complaint, filed by Ricardo Fulgencio IV of Stop Corruption Organization of the Philippines, accused BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno and officials of central bank’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of granting P1.75-billion contract to Allcard International sans public bidding for the implementation of the national identification system.

Aside from Diokno, Prudence Angelita Kasala, Rogel Joseph del Rosario, Carl Cesar Bibat, Marianne Santos, Salvador del Mundo, and Giovanni Israel Joson were also named as respondents to the complaint.

“As regards the complaint filed with the Ombudsman relative to the procurement for the printing of cards for the National ID System, rest assured that the BSP officials concerned will respond in the proper forum once required in accordance with applicable rules,” the BSP said in a statement.

Fulgencio said the bidding process for equipment and materials for the Philippine Identification cards was flawed because the BAC of the BSP Security Plant Complex, which is in charge of procuring materials for the cards, required all bidders to procure raw materials, such as diffractive optically variable image device (DOVID) and polycarbonate sheets, from OVD Kinegram.

The complainant said this requirement is prohibited by procurement laws as it shows a specific reference to a brand name.

“[The] respondents’ act of requiring the bidders to procure their raw materials from OVD Kinegram AG effectively gave the latter private party, unwarranted benefits. The respondents’ preference to Kinegram deprived other DOVID suppliers of the opportunity to bid for the project and robbed the government of getting the most advantageous terms for the supply of such raw materials,” the complaint read.

“Clearly, this is a corrupt practice. Henceforth, it is respectfully prayed before this Honorable Office that after the requisite preliminary investigation, criminal information against the herein respondents be filed before the Sandiganbayan,” it added.

Despite the complaint, the BSP said that it supports the rollout of the National ID as it is key to wider financial inclusion that promotes shared economic growth and the financial wellbeing of Filipinos.

BSP Governor Ben Diokno discharged from hospital

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno has been discharged from the hospital after undergoing a medical procedure, the central bank said.

In a statement on Wednesday, the BSP said Diokno’s discharge was “earlier than expected,” adding that he is steadily recovering from the surgery.

“The Governor is now recuperating at home and may preside over the Monetary Board meeting as early as next week,” the central bank said.

The BSP earlier said Diokno underwent a medical procedure on Sunday, January 17 to address a blood clot caused by a minor head accident.

While he is on medical leave, he has designated Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila as BSP’s officer-in-charge.

BSP chief Diokno on medical leave after ‘minor’ head injury, assigns Dakila as OIC

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno has designated Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila Jr. as the officer-in-charge of the central bank while he is on medical leave.

In a statement, the BSP said Diokno underwent a medical procedure on Sunday, January 17 to address a blood clot caused by a minor head accident.

“The procedure went well and I’m now on my way to recovery. Meanwhile, I’m designating Francis Dakila as OIC BSP Governor while I’m recuperating,” Diokno was quoted as saying in his message to the Monetary Board and BSP staff.

Citing his medical report, the central bank said the prognosis for Diokno’s complete recovery is “very good” as he was awake and conversant an hour after the procedure.

He is expected to be discharged from the hospital in four to five days and is anticipated to return to work subsequently, the BSP added.

“The BSP remains focused in promoting price stability, financial system stability and an efficient payment system,” the central bank said.

Diokno was appointed BSP Governor in March 2019 to replace the late Nestor Espenilla Jr. who passed away in February 2019 after his battle with cancer.

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