by Björn Schöpe
translated by Teresa Teklic
September 25, 2014 – A new law threatens to illegalize coin collecting on the Philippines. The Central Bank of the Philippines has been complaining for years that despite the high number of coins per capita in comparison to other Asian countries, the country still experienced small change shortage. Apparently coin hoarding was identified as the reason behind the problem. Consequently, Senator Manuel ‘Lito’ Mercado Lapid introduced a first draft bill to the senate already in 2012. CoinsWeekly featured a detailed report on this incident.
The problem continues to exist, only now the government is blaming criminal syndicates, who supposedly melt down small change in order to sell abroad. To tackle the situation, Sonny Collantes proposed a similar draft bill to the Philippine House of Representatives that was approved in May 2014 as House Bill 4411, “An Act Penalizing the Hoarding of Legal Tender Coins of the Philippine Currency”.
According to the bill, hoarding of Philippine legal tender coins is punishable by eight-year imprisonment and a financial penalty of up to 300,000 Philippine pesos. The Central Bank has been tasked with formulating guidelines for the definition of coin hoards, or, in other words, to determine the amount or weight of coins sufficient to count as a hoard. There will of course be exceptions to the law. Public institutions and charity organisations for instance will be exempt from the new governmental regulation.
More details about the new law on the website of the House of Representatives.