MANILA — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) launched on Wednesday two denominations of the limited edition, legal tender commemorative coins for the Philippine visit of Pope Francis from Jan. 15-19, 2015.
The P50 coin is made from nickel brass and the P500 from Nordic gold, BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said in a media briefing.
Both have the portrait of Pope Francis on the obverse and have markings “Republika ng Pilipinas,” “Pope Francis,” “P50” or “P500” (indicating the denomination of the coin), a signature of the Pontiff, and a BSP Mint mark.
Markings on the reverse include the BSP seal, the words “Papal Visit/Philippines”; date of visit, which is January 15-19, 2015; logo of the Papal Visit 2015, and the words “Mercy and Compassion,” which is the theme of the event.
Guinigundo said the coins are minted under licensing agreement with the Vatican and are available starting in the last week of January 2015.
He said the P50-coin will be sold for P100 and the P1,000-coin for P500 “to cover production, packaging, and other costs.”
The coins are not available for sale over-the-counter but by ordering from the BSP.
The order form can be downloaded from the BSP website, www.bsp.gov.ph, and must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org only until end-June this year.
Guinigundo said they will also come out with P1,000-denominated silver coin and P10,000-denominated gold Papal commemorative coin in May this year.
Issuance of commemorative coins is part of the central bank’s policy in commemorating historic events in the country.
The BSP also came out with commemorative Papal coins when Pope Paul VI visited the Philippines in 1970 and during the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1981 and 1995.