WITH more money circulating this Yuletide Season, the Philippine National Police headed by its Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa has warned anew the public to watch out for counterfeit P1,000 and P500 bills being passed off in different parts of the country by syndicates and con artists in time for shopping sprees during the holidays.
The PNP underscored the need for the citizenry to be ‘sharp-eyed’ against fake currencies and help authorities catch those circulating them. In the past, authorities have complained that most victims of counterfeit notes do not report the incident and when duped, they may try to pass on the fake note to other unsuspecting persons.
Officials said fraudsters usually operate in heavily-crowded areas including flea markets or ‘tiyangges’ and slum areas where cash velocity is especially high during market days.
Police said many of these counterfeit bills were found to have been distributed by syndicates in different parts of Metro Manila, Ilocos-Pangasinan and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region.
Arrests have been made previously in Pasay City, Binondo, Manila, Cebu City and many parts of Mindanao. In the sting in Pasay City last year, officials discovered that the counterfeit money came from Maharlika Area in Taguig City.
Last month, Police Regional Office 6 director, Brigadier General Rene P. Pamuspusan reminded Western Visayas residents to carefully scrutinize all bills when arrested.
Last December 4, Cagayan de Oro City policemen arrested John Nathaniel Lopez, a computer encoder after he sold 55 pieces of counterfeit P1,000 bills to an undercover officer for P10,000, said PRO10 director, Brig. Gen. Rolando B. Anduyan.
Prior to the sting, the suspect last December 1 also sold a fake P1,000 bill to an agent.
Police said the suspects usually sell the fake P1,000 bills for P300 each, thus the police warning for the public to be watchful in receiving money especially P1,000 bills in their financial transactions.
The arrests were made amid complaints that some people are having a problem identifying genuine bills from fake ones.
In case the public get hold of fake banknotes, they are advised to surrender them to the Currency Issue and Integrity Office through the Cash Department, BSP, Security Plant Complex, East Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City or to the nearest BSP regional office or branch.
The PNP through The Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas issued tips on how to determine if your new Philippine peso bills are fake or genuine: They say that the new Philippine banknotes or peso bills are not smooth but a little bit rough to touch because they are made of cotton and Philippine Abaca; the serial numbers of the new bills are composed of one or two prefix letters and six to seven digits in asymmetric or increasing size; the Red and blue fibers embedded in the banknote paper glow under ultra violet light. You can see this glow when you use a money detector device; the watermark shows the shadow image of the portrait and the banknote’s denomination on the blank space when viewed against the light from either side of the note; the word Filipino written in Philippine ancient “Baybayin” alphabet can be seen in its complete form when banknote is viewed against the light.
The 500 and 1000 peso bank notes now have the optically variable device patch, reflective foil. For 500 peso, the reflective coil bares the image of the small BSP logo and the Blue-naped Parrot. In 1000 peso bill, the reflective coil carries the image of the small BSP logo and the south-sea pearl.