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Introduction | Overview | Structure | History | Factors affecting change in exchange rates | Daily trend of Philippine peso | Weekly trend of Philippine peso

Philippine peso is another peso denominated currency that serves as the national currency of the Republic of Philippines as the name suggests. Peso is the currency unit that was founded in Spain for the first time and got spread and popular with the country extending its reign by establishing new colonies all over the world during colonization era. The currency unit is still in circulation as it forms the national currencies of a few other countries, most important among them being Argentina and Mexico.

Philippine peso or also called "piso" in Filipino language is the official currency of the country since 1852. The currency is denoted as P, , PHP or PhP in the daily usage though the official symbol for it is a P with two horizontal lines striking through but it faces a problem of lack of font support. The ISO 4217 code defines the currency code of Philippine peso to be PHP and the numeric code as 608. The subunit of the currency is known as "centavo" in English and "sentimo" in Filipino.


Philippines is counted among the newly industrializing nations of the world i.e. these countries have not yet reached the status of developed countries economically but still have developed more than the other developing countries. In other words, newly industrializing countries are the best among developing nations and Philippines is also provided with this title. Purchase power parity wise, Philippines is ranked 24th largest economy in the world and is also listed in the "Next Eleven" by Goldman Sachs investment bank. The agriculture sector and also the service sector dominated by BPO industries contribute maximum to the GDP of the country.

The currency aptly supports the growth of this exceedingly promising nation and helps it to move closer towards the first world countries’ level. In 2005, the currency was even sanctioned as the best performing currency of Asia. But one problem Philippine peso has been facing ever since is its devaluating value. If compared to gold, the peso has just remained 0.002% of its 1903-1949 value. The imports and exports of local currency are free up to a limit of 10000 pesos. Amounts equivalent or above 10000 US dollar have to be declared in the case of import and export of foreign currency.


The currency of Philippines has its name registered in the Guinness Book of World Records for its 100000-peso banknote, it being the largest legal tender note in context of size. Its width measures up to 8.5 inches and length measures 14 inches. Limited issue of 2000 peso has also been made to be circulated but it is rarely used. Other than these two notes, banknotes in 6 denominations are in frequently used namely P20, P50, P100, P200, P500, and P1000. All these 6 banknotes have a uniform sizes and that is why a different predominant color is used for each of them so as to distinguish them from each other. The 20-peso note has orange, the 50-peso note has red, 100-peso note has violet, 200 peso note has green, 500 note has yellow and the 1000 peso note has blue as their major colors. Also, 5 and 10 peso notes are accepted as legal tender though they have been offered and minted as coinage These notes possess the images of important personalities in the history of the nation on the front side and backside has the images pertaining to the events and achievements of the nation. The table below lets you know the design of the notes in detail
  • 20-peso note - Portrait of Manuel L. Quezon, first president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, on the obverse side of the note and Malacañan Palace with Pasig river on the reverse side
  • 50-peso note - Portrait of Sergio Osmeña, the second president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines on the obverse side of the note and National Muesuem on the reverse side
  • 100-peso note - Portrait of features Manuel Roxas, the first president of the Philippine Republic on the front side and backside of the note depicts the Manila compound of the Central Bank of the Philippines
  • 200-peso note - Front side possess the portrait of Diosdado Macapagal along with an image of Aguinaldo Shrine and backside shows EDSA II with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Macapagal's daughter, being sworn in as president
  • 500-peso note - The obverse side shows a  portrait of Benigno Aquino, Jr. and reverse side features a collage of various images in relation to Aquino
  • 1000-peso note - Portraits of of Jose Abad Santos, Chief Justice; Josefa Llanes Escoda, civic worker and one of the founders of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines; and Vicente Lim, a general in the Philippine Army, first Filipino graduate of West Point on the front side of the note and backside depicts Banaue Rice Terraces, Manunggul Jar cover and Langgal.

The coinage in the currency gets equal importance as the paper currency and is minted in 6 facevalues that are 5,10, 25 centavos, 1 peso, 5 and 10 pesos. 1 centavo coins were also in circulation but it is no longer in use now. All the coins depict their face values on the obverse side along with the year mark in which they were minted. 1, 5 and 10 peso coins also show the embossed images of Jose Rizal, Emilio Aguinaldo and combined profiles of Andres Bonifacio and Apolinario Mabini respectively. The backsides of the coins bear the official logo of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the central bank of the country. The bank is responsible for minting of coinage and also printing and circulating of the paper currency. An attempt is made to differentiate the higher value coins on the basis of different colors mentioned in the list below

  • 5 centavo coin - Copper red

  • 10 centavo coin - Copper red
  • 25 centavo coin - Yellow
  • 1 peso coin - Grayish white
  • 5 peso coin - Pale yellow
  • 10 peso coin - White yellow

Before Philippines was colonized by the Spaniards, barter trade was prevalent and the exchange was done through that. With time, gold gained its due importance and gold bits started to get considered as currency coins. In the 16th century, spain took over the Philippine islands as its colony that led to the introduction of a numerous foreign currencies of that time in that region; important among them were Mexican peso, Alfonsino peso and Mexican cob coins. In the 18th century, a problem of shortage of coinage arose and the Royalty of Spain had to permit for the minting of copper coins in Philippines called "barillas". These were country’s first own coins and they were launched in 1728. In 1852, the still in circulation currency, peso was introduced @ 1 peso = 8 reales, though at that time it was known as "pesos fuertes". The currency got decimalized adopting "sentimo" as its subunit as well as "real" was completely withdrawn from the market in 1864.

Philippines declared itself independent in 1898 and in the same year the Philippine republic issued its own currency denominated in peso under the leadership of Emilio Aguinaldo. Philippines saw itself into a war with America soon after it became independent and it was once again colonized in 1901. In 1903, Philippine coinage act was passed fixing the weight and size of the coinage. During the Second World War, Japan occupied the island country. Currency notes such as "guerilla pesos" were issued to be used for exchange during that time and held the clause that they were redeemable after the war. Later on, the Japanese government banned the circulation of guerilla notes too. The war got over in 1945 and the state got independent from America in 1946. The state of economy and fiscal problems were reviewed and it was concluded that the peg to the US currency would have to be removed in favor of a properly managed currency system and finally the Central Bank of Philippines (currently known as Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) was established in 1949. The guerilla pesos were redeemed in gold and silver coins and the 2 to 1 peg was maintained with the US dollar.

The over printing of the bank notes led to drastic downfall of the currency on the very 1st day of its opening by a shocking 300%. In 1964, floating rate regime was adopted for the currency and Philippines peso still follows it.

Factors affecting the exchange rates between two countries

The volatility in the foreign exchange rates depends upon a numerous macro economic factors that have different degrees of importance to different economies of the world. Some special and exceptional factors affecting the rates may also exist in the case of different countries. Following are shown the common factors on which the foreign exchange rate depends

  • Flow of imports and exports between the countries
  • Flow of capital between the countries
  • Relative inflation rates
  • Fluctuation limits on exchange rate imposed by the governments of the countries
  • Merchandise trade balance
  • Rate of inflation in the country
  • Flow of funds between the countries for the payment of stock and bond purchases
  • Relative growth
  • Short term and long term interest rate differentials
  • Cost of borrowings
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