Philippines ceases outsourcing note printing

According to a 15 August 2006, article in The Manila Times, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will cease outsourcing the printing of bank notes in 2007 in the wake of an embarrassing mistake made public last November.

In an attempt to ensure a sufficient supply of 100-piso (US$1.95) bank notes during the 2005 Christmas season, last year the BSP contracted the services of an unnamed French security printer. The move was supposed to be economical, too, since the French printer’s cost of production was reportedly half that of the BSP.

Unfortunately, the outsourced 100-piso notes (B1046e) delivered to the BSP bore President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s surname misspelled as “Arrovo.” Approximately 1,000 of these error notes were released into circulation before the mistake was caught. They remain legal tender in the Philippines.

Said an unnamed source, “It’s both the printer and BSP’s fault, because BSP sent its staff abroad who handles outsourcing of bank notes. However, the French printer shoulders the printing cost.”

A new story in the Manila Standard Today reports that 2.14 million error notes were released, and that the printer in question is Francois Charles Oberthur Fiduciare. Oberthur has reportedly agreed to shoulder the cost of a quarter of the initial print run of 77.9 million notes and will replace three quarters of that amount.

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