Public warned vs fake bills this holiday season
MANILA, Philippines — As the holidays draw near, the Philippine National Police warned against the proliferation of counterfeit peso bills.
Col. Jean Fajardo, the spokesperson for the PNP, advised the public to examine bills carefully as fake cash is usually circulated during the Christmas season.
“The PNP is reminding the public to be careful with their transactions when they shop in markets and malls. This is also the time of the year when many overseas Filipinos return home with remittances. We remind the public to have their currency exchange transaction in authorized money changers,” she said in a radio interview.
Real banknotes have embossed security features and are usually rougher and thicker compared to fake ones.
Crimes against property like theft and robbery, as well as fraud and deceit, usually increase during the Christmas season, Fajardo said.
She also advised the public to do their Christmas shopping early if possible to avoid the holiday rush. “Avoid shopping in crowds because that’s where the money switching takes place.”
But shoppers should also be careful when shopping online and buy only from “reputable and authorized” online sellers. “Sometimes we want to shop online to avoid hassle, but we become victims of online sellers. Just because it’s cheap then you should buy it immediately,” she said.
The public should expect more police visibility in churches, malls, terminals, and airports during the Christmas season to ensure safety and security.
“We have been regularly canceling leaves of police personnel starting Dec. 15 except for emergency cases in preparation for the holidays… We will be setting up police assistance desks,” Fajardo said.
Officers of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) assigned at the different international ports have also been prohibited from going on leave this holiday season to ensure that adequate manpower is available for the traveling public expected to enter and exit the country.
Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco, in a statement, said the ban on vacation leaves from Nov. 15 to Jan. 15 was implemented to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of services by the BI to international travelers before, during, and after the Christmas break.
Tansingco bared that passenger volume at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) has started to peak not only due to the approaching holiday season but in view of the gradual easing of restrictions imposed on foreign and Filipino travelers during the pandemic.
According to lawyer Carlos Capulong, acting ports operations chief of the BI, the leave ban applies to all immigration employees assigned not only at Naia but also in other international ports such as those in Mactan, Clark, Davao, and Kalibo.
Capulong said that except for medical and emergency reasons, no application for leave by any immigration port personnel would be entertained or approved while the two-month leave ban is in effect.
He also said that aside from immigration officers assigned to the airport’s immigration counters, a special team of officers is always on standby to augment and assist in processing arriving and departing passengers.
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