New P20 coin finalist in international currency contest | Inquirer News
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New P20 coin finalist in international currency contest

/ 05:08 AM January 05, 2022

LOOSE CHANGE This P20 piece, the biggest among the coins currently in circulation, will soon replace its banknote version.

MANILA, Philippines — This must be good news for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) after last month’s furor over its new design for the P1,000 bill.

The P20 coin, a fairly new legal tender that will soon replace its banknote version, has emerged as one of three finalists in the best new coin or series category of the annual Excellence in Currency 2022 Awards, organized by the International Association of Currency Affairs (Iaca).


The Texas-based organization counts among its members the world’s central banks, finance departments or ministries, and other “currency-issuing authorities.”

Another important category in the awards is the best new banknote or series, for which the finalists are bills from Azerbaijan, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Qatar.


The Philippines’ P20 is up against Mexico’s 20-peso commemorative coin and Kazakhstan’s 200 tenge.

Iaca said on its website that the awards are intended “to promote and and recognize excellence in banknote and coin production, processing, management, distribution and related activities of the cash community.”

In the best new coin category, the finalists will be judged based on the innovation of the design, uniqueness, historical or local content that is relevant to the country concerned, and aesthetic appeal, among other qualities.

The winners will be announced on Feb. 22, when Iaca is also scheduled to hold its Banknote and Currency Conference in Washington, DC.

Sold online

The P20 coin, which is part of the New Generation Currency series introduced in 2018, features Commonwealth-era President Manuel L. Quezon on the obverse, or front side, and images of Malacañang Palace, the BSP logo, and the “nilad” plant — after which the city of Manila is named — on the reverse or backside.

At almost 3 centimeters in diameter, it is the biggest among the coins currently in circulation. It is made of steel, with the core plated with nickel and the ring surrounding the core plated with bronze.

In October 2020, the BSP had to warn the public about the P20 being sold online to collectors at much more than its value.


A cursory search at Shopee showed that it was still being sold for as much as P3,000 apiece.

P20 banknote

A different fate awaits the P20 banknote as it “shall be gradually removed from circulation through natural attrition,” or reduction, the BSP said.

This means there will be no further printing of the note, which the regulator itself had acknowledged as the most widely used denomination in the country.

It said “because of this, the 20-peso banknote is easily rendered unfit for circulation and [will be] returned to the BSP for replacement.”

“As such, the issuance of a coin in lieu of a banknote is more cost efficient in terms of currency production in the long run,” the BSP said.

The P20 bill also features Quezon on the front side, with images of the Banaue Rice Terraces and the Asian palm civet on the reverse side.

In December, the BSP drew controversy after it presented a new design of the P1,000 banknote, with the Philippine eagle on the front side replacing the images of World War II-era patriots Jose Abad Santos, Josefa Llanes Escoda, and Vicente Lim.

The new bill will be issued in April, but the BSP said the current P1,000 will remain in circulation.

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TAGS: 20-peso coin, Excellence in Currency 2022 Awards, International Association of Currency Affairs
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