Maybe I wasn’t reading enough. Or maybe I was fast asleep in a comfortable little corner in my little world when the universe opened up to a brand new era.
Or maybe I just had become so enamored with the idea of saving up – meaning, saving up however small – that I had not realized my now six-month habit of keeping coins in a piggy bank had been hurting the economy.
I came across an article on Yahoo! a few days earlier about the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ appeal to the public to stop hoarding coins. Now the stubborn little voice in me was insisting I wasn’t hoarding coins because I plan to put the money in the bank eventually anyway.
That is, the moment my little piggy bank refuses to take any more coins. The way things are going, that will take me, give or take, a month more.
What is coin hoarding?
Because I needed to be proven incorrect, I had to do some research. ABS-CBN reported in February of last year that the BSP had said that the age-old practice of feeding a piggy bank with loose change may not be doing the overall economy any good as this creates an artificial shortage of coins.
Keeping the coins out of circulation forces the Central Bank to mint more coins to address consistent requests from banks, which consequently entails additional costs.
Piggy bank keepers are not the only ones guilty here. Even charitable institutions that put tin cans at malls or fast food chains or MRT stations for donations are being appealed to by the BSP to immediately take the money collected to the bank, so they would get back into circulation.
Also, mb.com.ph reports that one of the causes of poor re-circulation of coins is the use of coins as tokens for so-called “automated tubig machines,” video games and videoke machines.
Some others use them as accessories. Others melt them for metals. And some others simply ignore them, especially the lower denominations, and put them in places where they are left to be forgotten.
Okay, here’s the clincher. Manila Bulletin’s online newspaper, mb.com.ph, reported on March 31, 2011 that “the BSP will demonetize all denominations of coins in preparation for new designed coins for circulation beginning next year.” Demonetization, according to Merriam-Webster Online, means the deprivation of value for official payment.
Sheesh, that would be a real bummer, wouldn’t it?
So now my little pig in my closet would have to cough up the coins earlier than planned. And yes, the coins would all go straight to the bank. And I still would keep my head up high even if the bank teller who would transact with me and my coins starts throwing furtive glances at me for giving her more work for that day.
That had happened to me before, and I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t happen again. Well, I’m now armed with information, and I sure am willing to give the teller a word or two about the BSP’s appeal to put more coins in circulation.
In support of the BSP’s plea, I have deleted my previous post entitled “Pig in My Closet,” and made some edits to other posts that encouraged the use of piggy banks. In this light, however, piggy banks, in my opinion, may still be used provided the money collected will immediately go to the bank, or perhaps spent for daily needs.
And by immediately, I mean, three days?
I think I’m going to need your opinion on that. So what’s your definition of immediately in this scenario?
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