(Reposted from Lamang Lupa)
Monday, August 2, 2010 at 1:52pm
There are serious issues involved in these decisions of the Central Bank and the Monetary Board to engage more and more in the outsourcing of the printing of Philippine currency, and the neglect in upgrading the capability and technology of the Security Printing Plant in Quezon City.
The first and most important issue is sovereignty. Printing one’s own currency is an act of sovereignty. The nation’s central bank must guard its printing with the greatest care. Outsourcing a substantial portion of the production of banknotes to not one, but several commercial printers is highly irresponsible.
Secondly, security is a vital matter for concern. In 2005, one foreign printer misspelled the name of President Arroyo to read “Arrovo”, causing great embarrassment to the country. This year, a huge batch of banknotes had to be returned to the foreign contractor because of a mistake in the color of the notes. Such lapses are a danger to the nation and our sovereign currency.
Third, it is disturbing that the BSP is now entrusting the banknote design and production to foreign hands. It is not as if we Filipinos cannot do these tasks ourselves. We have in the SPC a ready facility for undertaking the design and printing of the nation’s banknotes – if only it will be allowed to perform its mission.
The involvement of the SPC in all aspects of banknote design, production and sourcing is imperative, in order to guarantee the compatibility between foreign printed notes and locally printed notes. Procedural and organizational obstacles have complicated the coordination between the SPC in Quezon City and the BSP's administrative offices and committees in Roxas Boulevard.
In May 2010, Assistant Governor Evelina Avila, who has been batting for the upgrading of SPC facilities, abruptly resigned. Insiders say that she was overruled and by-passed by the MB, the BAC and certain BSP officers. Ms. Avila has left the country to work in Uganda.