Viral new bent P1000 polymer banknote forces BSP and SM to backtrack

Photos of a new folded P1,000 polymer banknote. (Photo: Reylen Lopez/Facebook)

A post showing a netizen’s frustrations over the new P1,000 polymer banknote made the rounds on social media over the weekend after a popular shopping center refused to accept his slightly bent note.

In a Facebook post that garnered thousands of reactions and around 78,000 shares, Reylen Lopez shared her frustration with the rule and advised the public not to keep or store her new P1,000 polymer banknotes.

(Source: Reylen Lopez/Facebook)

(Source: Reylen Lopez/Facebook)

“Don’t keep news [1,000-peso bill]! According to SM management, there should be no creases,” Lopez said in Filipino on the original social media post.

“I had to use [the banknote] for payment, but the mall did not accept it. We were not informed beforehand. Am I the only one who doesn’t know, ”she added.

According to Lopez, she went to a branch of SM Retail Store on Friday, July 8 around 6:45 p.m. to collect or deposit her money in her bank account.

“I already gave the transaction code to the cashier [of the mall’s customer service]. I was about to pay when the cashier saw that my [1,000-peso banknote] was folded,” Lopez said in an interview with

She said the cashier explained to her that according to mall policy, they do not accept folded polymer notes of P1,000.

Lopez clarified that the P1,000 polymer note that the cashier refused to accept was only “slightly bent” as she placed it in a folding wallet.

In an official statement, SM Supermalls said folded banknotes are still accepted at SM retail stores.

“In response to reports circulating on social media regarding the new P1000 bill, we would like to assure the public that folded banknotes are still accepted in our SM Retail stores,” SM Supermalls said.

“Only those who are mutilated – stapled and torn because of [the] staple wire removal – will be considered unsuitable and not accepted. Our policy has taken into consideration the guidelines established by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,” he added.

Meanwhile, the central bank has backtracked on its rule on folded bills saying they will still be accepted for payment after receiving backlash from the general public.

“The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) informs the public that folded banknotes, whether paper or polymer, can still circulate and be accepted for payment. As such, retailers and banks should accept them for everyday payment transactions,” the statement read.

“The BSP is issuing this notice to address concerns raised on social media about the non-acceptance of 1000 Piso polymer folded banknotes by some institutions,” it added.

Currently, here are BSP’s guidelines on how to properly handle polymer banknotes:

  • Keep bills flat: Place polymer bills in wallets that are long enough for the bills to fit properly.

  • KEEP THEM CLEAN: Clean dirty or soiled polymer banknotes with a damp cloth. The surface can also be cleaned using alcohol-based disinfectants, but should be immediately wiped with a dry cloth afterwards.

  • Use them as payment for goods and services: don’t hoard polymer bills. It is also forbidden to buy or sell them at higher prices.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Filipino politics and events. She regularly follows global and local events. She defends animal welfare and freedom of the press. Follow her on Twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat posts.

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