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What is the Currency of the Philippines?

08 Oct 2021 - Category: Blog /
currency philippines

The Philippines is a country of around 7,640 islands scattered across the western Pacific Ocean. If you have family and friends living in the Philippines, or you’re thinking about travelling there, you may want to know a bit more about the country. Learning about the currency of the Philippines is a great place to start.

In this blog we’ll be exploring everything you need to know about the currency of the Philippines.

Below you’ll learn about:

  • The Filipino local currency, the Philippine peso
  • How is the Philippine peso recognised?
  • The history of the Philippine peso
  • The Philippine peso today
  • Exchange rates
  • How can I send money to The Philippines from the United States?

What currency does the Philippines use?

The currency of the Philippines is the Philippine peso. The currency is also commonly referred to by its Filipino name: piso. The currency of the Philippines was for a long time tied up with currencies of Spanish and American colonists. But now the Philippine peso is controlled and issued by the central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The Philippine peso is printed and minted at The Security Plant Complex. The colourful peso notes are very distinctive and feature several notable figures from Filipino history.

How is the Philippine peso recognised?

The Philippine peso is recognised by the sign: ₱ and the currency is internationally recognised by the code PHP. Alternative symbols are also used including: “PhP”, “Php” or “P”.

The subunit for the Philippine peso is called the Sentimo or Centavo, which subdivides into 1 peso one hundred times. However, the smaller denominations are not in widespread circulation and it’s rare to find any 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢ or ₱20. The frequently used denominations include the ₱20, ₱50, ₱100, ₱500, and the ₱1000.

The history of the Philippine peso

The currency of the Philippines has had a long and difficult history. Before the Philippine peso, there was the Spanish-Filipino Peso and shortly after that the currency was pegged to half of the US Dollar.

It wasn’t until the Central Bank of the Philippines was established in 1949 that the formal Filipino currency was reintroduced to the country. Then in 1967 the English language was removed from the notes and coins of the Philippine peso and the Filipino language was used on all the denominations. As a result the word “piso'' came into common use within the country instead of peso.

During the latter half of the twentieth century the Philippines experienced positive economic and political developments which enabled the currency to stabilise and improve. And in 1993 the old Central Bank was replaced with a new Central bank: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas whose responsibility was to maintain price stability and help the Philippine peso grow.

Although the Philippines endured plenty of overseas interference which saw their currency experience many changes over the years, they now have a more stable currency that is tied to the culture and history of the Philippines.

The Philippine peso today

The current series of the Philippine peso in circulation is called the New Generation Currency. In 2009, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) decided it was time for some change and they launched a large-scale redesign of the currency.

The new banknotes were an attempt to improve security features and ensure that the currency was more durable. The notes also featured enlarged font size, italicised names, new text and new images. The vibrant and distinct coloring for many of the notes still remains.

For example, the bright orange ₱20 note features the famous Filipino statesmen Manuel L. Quezon and the Malacanang Palace on the obverse side, and the famous Banaue Rice Terraces on the reverse side. Similarly, the red ₱50 note depicts the fourth President of the Philippines Sergio Osemña on the obverse side and images of the Taal Lake and the maliputo (giant trevally) on the reverse side.

In the last decade some further changes to the peso circulation occurred. In 2016 Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) started to distribute new 100-peso notes that supposedly made it easier to differentiate the colours of the 100-peso and 100-peso banknote. In 2019, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) also announced that it would convert the ₱20 note into a coin.

So we know what the Philippine peso looks like today, but what about it’s worth? To truly understand the state of the Philippine peso today we have to take a look at some exchange rates.

Exchange rates

It’s useful to compare the Philippine peso to other major currencies around the world. With that knowledge we can work out the general state of the Filipino economy and we can decide when is the best time to send money to the Philippines.

In the opening months of 2021 the average exchange rate of the US dollar to the Philippine peso was 1 USD to 48.7 PHP, with a low of 47.5 PHP and a high of 50.9 PHP. In addition, during a similar period in 2021 the average exchange rate of the Euro to the Philippine peso was around 1 EUR to 58.3 PHP. This is useful information to consider when thinking about sending money to the Philippines from the United States.

How can I send money to The Philippines from the United States?

You can send money to The Philippines with Small World’s simple and effective money transfer service. Now that you have some knowledge of the Philippine peso it will be easier to know where your money is going and how much it is worth in the Philippines.

You may still have more questions like, “Where should you buy currency in the Philippines?”, or “How do you send paper currency to the Philippines?”. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered. There are several ways to send money to the Philippines with Small World, including: Bank deposit, Cash Pickup, Cash Card Reload, Airtime Top-up and Home delivery.

Small World has facilitated millions of money transfers all around the world. Our money transfer services are available in many major states including California, Texas, New York, New Jersey and Florida. So if you need to support your loved ones in the Philippines, rely on Small World.

Your first transfer online is always free of fees!



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