The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) unveiled the new design of the Php5 coins in late November last year to coincide with the birth anniversary of revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio.
The coin, which was once a dull gold color that featured the country’s first president, Emilio Aguinaldo, has been replaced with a slightly smaller version in metallic silver with Bonifacio’s face and the words “Republika ng Pilipinas” on the obverse side and a Philippine plant called the Tayabak and the BSP logo on the reverse side.
The new design immediately drew criticism for its strong similarities to the Php1 coin. Foremost among these critics was Senator Nancy Binay, who released a statement calling on the BSP to temporarily stop issuing the new coins for supposedly creating confusion among the public.
The BSP responded by defending the design for the new coin, saying it was a necessary move because of unscrupulous individuals who extract the metal content of the old coins.
"The need to enhance the security features of our coins using the latest technology in minting given counterfeiting; the need to change our coins' metallic composition to discourage acts of illegal extraction of their metal content; and the need to adapt more cost-efficient production processes, provide rationale for the change," the BSP said.
According to the BSP, the new Php5 coins and the Php1 coins have a few distinct differences:
1. The new Php5 coin is heavier (7.4 grams), thicker (25-millimeters in diameter) and slightly larger than the Php1 coin;
2. The sides of the new Php5 coin's are smooth, while the Php1 coin has ridges;
3. The two coins have different designs. The Php5 coin is marked with "ANDRES BONIFACIO" and "5 PISO" in the obverse side of the coin.
But judging by reactions by netizens on Twitter, it seems more and more people are proving Sen. Binay right, with many saying they find it really hard to distinguish between the new Php5 and old Php1 coins.
the new five-peso coin (center) looks and feels strikingly similar with the one-peso coin (right) . i’m guessing that the government, with all the high prices, could be positioning five pesos as the new one peso #inflationpic.twitter.com/vmWjtbhQCp
@BangkoSentral can you still reconsider the design of the new five-peso coin? Pareho po kasi ang texture sa one-peso coin. Pati po jeepney drivers at konduktor ng bus nahirapan. Medyo yung size po same din eh. Sorry haba pero hindi ako galit :) https://t.co/gLKkrV7Um1