VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FALSE posts on Philippine currency spread on social media


Multiple Facebook (FB) pages and netizens shared screenshots of fake banknotes and claimed they are new designs of the Philippine currency.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) branded as fake a P500 banknote featuring a tarsier and a P150 bill featuring a portrait of Jose Rizal. The P100 coin and P5,000 banknote in the questionable posts are commemorative currencies, BSP added. 

The screenshots of the fake banknotes were posted from Jan. 11 to 14 and some netizens who believed the post criticized the BSP for changing the currencies’ designs. Others who saw the P100 coin lamented the devaluation of the Philippine peso. 

Of the banknotes shown in the false posts, only the P1000 bill featuring the Philippine eagle is real and currently in circulation. The polymer bill was issued in April 2022 and is being used alongside the P1,000 peso paper banknote.

FAKE P500 tarsier banknote

A P500 banknote design carrying an image of a tarsier is fake, a BSP officer told VERA Files Fact Check last 2021. 

Reverse image search showed that the photo of the tarsier – a 2017 vector illustration created by a Russian illustrator – was digitally inserted into an actual photo of a P500 banknote.

FAKE P150 Jose Rizal banknote 

Back in 2012, the BSP warned the public against a “fictitious” P150 bill featuring Rizal. “The BSP has never issued nor is planning to issue such type of a banknote,” it said. VERA Files Fact Check debunked this before. 

Instead, the BSP released a commemorative coin in 2011 to honor the 150th birth anniversary of the hero. 

P100 coin won’t replace banknotes

Some netizens who saw the FB posts thought that the P100 banknote will be replaced with coins. The BSP debunked this as false in a 2021 FB post. 

The P100 coin is a commemorative currency issued by the BSP in 2017 to celebrate the 100th founding anniversary of Muntinlupa City. 

P5,000 commemorative banknote not for circulation 

Likewise, the BSP did issue a P5,000 banknote with Lapu-Lapu’s portrait. It is not used as a regular currency, however.

The P5,000 banknote was unveiled in 2021 in part to mark the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Mactan, Cebu. 

Three FB netizens and two FB pages posted the erroneous photo, garnering over 13,472 interactions overall. The posts appeared around four days after a netizen posted his experience with a damaged P1,000 polymer bill.

Among the FB pages sharing the incorrect post were Ms.CHa, created on June 17, 2022, and Anne’s Car Trunk Surprise Masbate City, created on June 28, 2021.

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)