There has been a lot of anger and frustration in the past several months over the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)’s release of the next-generation Philippine coins — specifically, the New Generation Currency (NGC) five-peso coin (5-piso).
Released beginning December 2017, the new five-peso coins made their way into general circulation, and earned the ire of a lot of people, myself included. This is due to the measly 1-millimeter difference in diameter between the existing one-peso coin and that new five-peso coin, as well as the latter’s new color, which happens to be as silver-y as the current piso.
For very important matters such as finances, it would be really, really, reaaallly helpful if using them daily would be minimally inconvenient. This is why it is quite understandable that a lot of people got turned off by the next-generation coins even before the entire coin set was revealed this week.
So much has been said (and been written) castigating the new coins as well as the people involved in designing them, so I won’t dwell on that. What I realize at this point, though, is that inspecting the specs of the new coins and comparing them to the current set reveals that there’s not much to worry about in the upcoming series (at least in terms of size). This will probably ruffle a lot of feathers but bear with me and compare the dimensions below:
|Denomination||New Design Series (existing)||New Generation Currency (upcoming)|
|1-sentimo||15.5 mm / 2.0 g||15 mm / 1.90 g|
|5-sentimo||15.5 mm / 1.9 g||16 mm / 2.20 g|
|25-sentimo||20.0 mm / 3.6 g||20 mm / 3.60 g|
|1-piso||24.0 mm / 5.35 g||23 mm / 6.00 g|
|5-piso||27.0 mm / 7.7 g||25 mm / 7.40 g|
|10-piso||26.5 mm / 8.7 g||27 mm / 8.00 g|
|References found at end of the article.|
In some cases (like the 10-piso), the new ones are bigger, however insignificantly. So as you can see, the NGC coins’ dimensions do not actually differ so much from the NDS’. It’s only the new 5-piso coin that has the biggest change (2 mm). And unfortunately for the 5-piso, there could have been a better way of scheduling its release so that we wouldn’t be in this dilemma of mistaking 5-piso for 1-piso, or vice versa!
Since everything else was almost the same diameter, their strategy could have been done this way: They roll out all but the 5-piso coin, then give it say, a year or so while the old 1-piso coins make their way out of circulation. When the new 1-piso coins are sufficiently circulated enough, then that is the time they roll out the new 5-piso coins. Again, this is just me, imagining things from a developer’s perspective — similar issues arise when you’re releasing new features in the programming world. Timing matters. And of course, this is assuming they can thoroughly justify why they ended up making the new 5-piso significantly smaller than its current form. As to why that is so, I will also not delve anymore because there’s already a lot of hate out of that topic on user experience.
Despite my own misgivings on the NGC coins, I will definitely have to agree with the BSP regarding our coins: Matibay, Maganda, Mahalaga (durable, beautiful, valuable). As they say, coins and bills are ways to showcase one country’s heritage.
I’m looking forward to getting my hands on these new coins!
P.S. This is already a separate issue, but at the rate at which the 20-piso bills get worn down like old rags, do you think it’s also time to introduce a 20-piso coin? What do you think?