Apparently, this upgrade was done not just for aesthetics but also to put in new security features that would help in detecting the fakes from the original ones.
Oberthur Technologies, the same French company that made the new Philippine e-Passports are the same ones that printed these at a cost of 25.3 million Euro for around 702 million pieces of new bank notes.
Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo, Head of the Numismatic Committee of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, said that the creation of the new notes took two years with the Monetary Board and historian Ambeth Ocampo consulting.
I don't have high-resolution pictures of each individual notes yet but from what I can see, only the P500 bill has a new addition with the late President Cory Aquino now side-by-side with her beloved Ninoy. The back of each bill now feature famous Philippine landmarks: P20 - Banaue Rice Terraces and the Civet, which produces the expensive Coffee Alamid; P50 - Taal Volcano and the Maliputo fish; P100 - Mayon Volcano and the Butanding; P200 - Bohol Chocolate Hills and the Philippine Tarsier; P500 - Puerto Princesa Subterranean River and the Blue-naped Parrot; and P1,000 - Tubbataha Reefs and the South Sea Pearl.
Surprising for me here is the Blue-nape parrot. I was at the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River during the summer and I don't remember seeing it there, or even hearing it mentioned by the guides. I saw monkeys roaming around freely on the grounds (hold on to your bags because they like snatching it from you) and I remember the 17-feet long skeletal remains of "Rio", the largest crocodile caught in the Philippines, at the Irawan Crocodile Farm. But maybe I'm missing something here.
Well anyways, another curious fun fact would be that only Cory, Ninoy, and Josefa Llanes Escoda (from the P1,000 denomination) are the ones smiling with their teeth shown. Any importance to this? Hmmm...
Like I said, I love these new notes in that they do look very modern and easy on the eyes but I would have loved it if at least one note had been made of the same polymer material used for the HKD10.
Circulation of the new notes are said to begin this month.