Philippine Peso (PHP)

The official currency of the Republic of the Philippines

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What is the Philippine Peso (PHP)?

The Philippine Peso refers to the Philippines’s official currency and is represented by ISO code PHP. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Philippines’ central bank, mints and prints the banknotes and the coins at its complex in Quezon City.

Philippine Peso (PHP) - Image of PHP bank notes

PHP is also called piso, a Filipino name. Since the country was a previous United States colony, it used the English language on its notes and coins. Hence, until 1967, the term “peso” appeared on the currency. With the introduction of the Filipino language on the notes and coins, the word “piso” came into use.


  • The Philippine Peso refers to the Philippines’s official currency as is represented by ISO code PHP.
  • With the introduction of the Filipino language on notes and coins, the word “piso” came into use.
  • Popular Filipinos and iconic natural wonders grace the latest banknote designs.

History of the Philippine Peso

In 1898, the country saw a transformation when its capital was used to issue coins and paper money of its currency. However, the change was short-lived as the circulation of the currency ended in 1901. The US took possession of the Philippines and introduced a currency indexed to the gold standard, which was about half the value of the United States Dollar (USD) then. The 2 pesos per USD peg continued until the country became independent in 1946.

The Central Bank of the Philippines was set up in 1949, and in the 1950s, it sought to keep the US dollar at 2:1. It became unlikely when the black market for pesos began beyond the fixed system, where it was regularly exchanged at 3:1.

In 1967, the Filipino language was adopted in the currency by the bank, and a series of notes in denominations of 1 peso, 5 pesos, 10 pesos, 20 pesos, 50 pesos, and 100 pesos was launched in 1969. The Ang Bagong Lipunan (ABL) Series of banknotes was released in 1973. It included 2 pesos as the lowest denomination and 100 pesos as the highest denomination. The ABL series was followed by the release of the New Design Series.

A drastic transformation occurred when the central bank published the New Design Series. The new 500 PHP notes were launched in 1987, the first 1,000 PHP notes were released in 1991, and 200 PHP notes were released in 2002. The name “New Design Series” referred to the Philippine notes issued between 1985 and 1993. It was then retitled as the BSP series, owing to the restoration of the BSP in 1993. It was replaced by the New Generation Currency Series, which was released in December 2010.

Banknotes from the latest currency series were printed until 2013 and existed as a legal tender until December 31, 2015. The original demonetization date for the bills was January 1, 2017, but the time frame for exchanging old notes was extended twice, first until June 30, 2017, and then until December 29, 2017.

Current Philippine Peso

In 2009, the BSP announced a complete redesign of the current notes and coins to boost security features and increase longevity. Popular Filipinos and iconic natural wonders grace the latest banknote designs. In December 2010, the BSP began issuing the first batch of new notes.

In February 2016, the country’s central bank began to distribute new 100-peso bills, which came with a better purple or purple hue. It was suggested by the public to differentiate between the 100-peso banknote and the 1000-peso banknote. The 100 PHP bills of the New Generation Currency are still in circulation; hence, they can still be used by the public.

On December 11, 2019, the BSP declared that it would convert the 20 PHP note into a coin. It announced the transition of banknotes to coins, which will be finished by 2021 end or the start of 2022. The BSP also declared a redesign of the 5-peso coin of the New Generation Currency. The new concept requires the inclusion of bumps on both sides of the coin.

Currently, coins of 1, 5, 10, and 25 cents and 1, 5, 10, and 20 pesos are in use. Banknotes of denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 pesos are also in circulation.

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