If you’re concerned about taking care of the environment, then here’s another way of showing it: take good care of your money. That means to not spoil it, deface it, write or doodle on it, and most of all, don’t staple it, which is a common practice among us with bills to pay. In fact, don’t even fold them as much as possible.
I admit I am – or was – guilty of stapling money since I like to staple the bank notes onto the bills that I have to pay. Another bad habit is stuffing bank notes inside coin purses, resulting to crumpled bills. Turns out I wasn’t doing the environment any good at all.
You see, Philippine money is made of 80% cotton and 20% Philippine abaca. The Philippine government spends millions every time it produces a fresh batch of money, and exhausts more of the required natural resources.
According to Divina Labitad-Salve (I call her Miss Divine) of the Economic and Financial Learning Center at the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) branch in Dumaguete City, the improper handling of money shortens its lifespan. When private bank tellers turn over their money to central bank, the BSP tellers sort the cash, separating the unfit money to take them out of circulation. Unfit are those that are defaced, crumpled, mutilated, or marked with writings.
Every month, the central bank retires or takes out of circulation more than 1 million pieces of bank notes in the province of Negros Oriental alone. BSP has 21 regional offices and branches nationwide. I don’t have data as to the total volume of notes retired nationwide, but if a small province like Negros Oriental produces an average of 1 million unfit bank notes a month, how much more in the bigger metropolitan areas?
This is the reason why the BSP in Dumaguete initiated an informercial/ad campaign to help stop the bad habit of not taking care of our money. The central bank branch here partnered with the Silliman University Student Government in producing two 60-seconder videos that aim to correct the bad money habits. The informercials, in English and Cebuano versions, will be given to local radio and TV stations for airing.
By the way, BSP Dumaguete is the first among the central bank branches nationwide to launch their own locally-produced ad campaign to help advocate the BSP’s Clean Note Policy. This idea was conceptualized by Miss Divine, and it’s a loss to the central bank here that she’s moving to Manila after she was promoted to work at the central office. I’m happy for her, though, since she highly deserves this big step up in her career.