CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA) --To help the public here conveniently replace their unfit currency with new banknotes and coins, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) brought its "Piso Caravan” to the city on July 28 and 29, 2023. Held at SM Downtown Premiere and SM City Uptown, respectively, the caravan aims to remove unfit money from circulation in line with BSP’s Clean Note and Coin Policy which requires that dirty, soiled, stained, faded, or marked banknotes and coins be removed from circulation to preserve the integrity of Philippine currency. The caravan also reinforces the implementation of the coin recirculation program of the BSP which encourages the public to move their coins out into general circulation. BSP Cagayan de Oro Branch Officer-in-Charge Divina Salve Labitad said the Piso Caravan seeks to provide a platform not just for safeguarding the integrity of the country’s currency and maintaining the recirculation of fit coins, but also for raising awareness on digital financial literacy and promoting financial inclusion and access. “We have information sessions covering topics on the proper handling of money and banknotes. We also have discussions on digital payments and cyber hygiene practices,” she said. The Philippine National Bank, Chinabank, Bank of Commerce, Maybank, and Eastwest Bank were among the participating banks that provided account opening services during the caravan while financial service providers, GCash and StarPay, conducted onboarding activities promoting convenient e-payments or digital payments. Labitad said the Cagayan de Oro leg of the Piso Caravan is a collaborative effort between the BSP-CDO branch, SM Premiere Downtown and SM City Uptown, the Oro Bankers Club, and the Philippine Information Agency-10, with the support of the Philippine National Police-10.
Meanwhile, Akim Branzuela expressed her gratitude to the BSP for holding the caravan as it allowed her to trade her torn banknotes and coins into new ones. “Ok kaayo. Nag-expect ko nga wala na gyud to, nga dili na magamit ang coins ug bills nga mga damaged na. Tungod ani, happy ko nga napulihan siya,” she said. (It's very ok. I expected that it was already useless, that the damaged coins and bills could no longer be used. Because of this, I am happy that it was replaced.) Like Branzuela, Sheena Kauffman was also glad for the opportunity to conveniently exchange her unfit coins at the Piso caravan. “Kana siya nga mga coins naipon lang na siya. Wala mi kabantay nga nagdaghan na diay. Ang uban gani mga pangit na. Mas tsada ni [caravan] kay kung magbayad man gud ka, like sa cashier, iphon pa na niya so makalangan ka. Mas convenient nga ingon ani,” she shared. (Those are the coins we accumulated. We didn't realize that it was increasing. Some even look ugly. The [Caravan] is great because if you pay, like to the cashier, he/she will count the coins so you will cause a delay. It's more convenient like this.) (APB/PIA-10)