TAGBILARAN CITY, July 14 (PIA)--It may be a thoughtless act and it may come out automatically that when you set aside money for your kid's allowances and staple it, you have committed an act of mutilation, one that is punishable by law.
Or in fact, when you crumple to supposedly test of the note is genuine, or mark a banknote whether it is a legible writing or a naughty mobile phone number in the hope of getting a textmate, that is against Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 247.
The said law prohibits and penalizes defacement, mutilation, tearing, burning or destruction of notes and coins.
Along this line, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) informs people, who may have not been told about the provisions of law to be on the watch to evade from possible imprisonment or fine, or whatever the courts deem as necessary.
Any person who violates shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than P20,000 and/or by imprisonment of not more than five years.
In like manner, BSP said the application of outside pressure, substance or chemicals that may cause deformation, destruction or change in the original state, shape and color of the coin is also a violation of law.
With this, if the 5-sentimo legal tender coin which has a hole at the center is used plainly as pendant of a necklace without any defacement or destruction done or made on the coin, there would be no technical violation. However, its purpose as a means of payment for any goods and services is undermined, BSP said.
On the other hand, some people have been noted to take out the nickel-brass core of the P10 coin to be made into rings. This, the BSP said is a crime.
Over this, when you catch a person writing or putting marks in banknotes, the Banko Sentral suggests warning or informing the person of the Anti-mutilation Law or P.D. 247 which prohibits and penalizes the act of currency defacement (writing, putting marks), mutilation, burning, tearing or any manner showing act of intentional mutilation.
Should the act becomes habitual to a particular person, the matter should be reported to the nearest police agency/law enforcer, for appropriate action or contact the Investigation Division, Currency Issue and Integrity Office, BSP for assistance at Tel. Nos.: 988-4833 and 926-5092, BSP through Atty Leonides Sumbi said.
And if you happen to get hold of a mutilated currency, note that under BSP Circular No. 829 dated 13 March 2014, it requires banks to accept mutilated currency notes and coins for referral and transmittal to the Currency Issue and Integrity Office (CIIO), BSP-SPC, Diliman, Quezon City or any of the BSP’s regional offices and branches for determination of redemption value.
Banks however may charge reasonable handling fees from clients and or the general public relative to the handling and transporting to BSP of mutilated notes and coins. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)