The Evolution of Philippine Peso
USD INR ₹ 84.00
GBP INR ₹ 105.34
CAD INR ₹ 61.24

The History Of Philippine Money

Updated on March 01, 2022 02:29 pm
The History Of Philippine Money

Money, trade, and issues of sovereignty have been curiously intertwined. The history of Philippine money follows an interesting timeline - from the pre-Hispanic era to the Republic of the Philippines that we know today.

The Peso is the official currency of the Philippines, and Piso is its Filipino name. PHP is its ISO code. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Philippines' central bank is the issuer of the Philippine Peso. The peso is subdivided into 100 cents (sentimo).

A Brief History Of The Philippine Peso

The history of the Philippine Peso through the years can be divided into different periods based on the ruling power of the time. The evolution of the Philippine peso reflects the country's journey through colonization and independence.

Pre-Hispanic Era

Prior to the arrival of Spaniards in the Philippines in 1521, trade among the early Filipinos and traders from China and other neighboring lands was performed using the barter system. Cowry shells then were adopted as a medium of exchange due to the inconvenience of the barter system.

Piloncitos, which are small pieces of gold, became the first form of coinage. It had a flat base engraved with an inscription of the letters "MA" or "M" that resembles the Javanese script of the 11th century. It is believed that this inscription was used by the Chinese traders to identify the Philippines during the pre-Spanish era.

Spanish Occupation (1521-1897)

The Spanish introduced the coins to the Philippines. The cobs or macuquinas of colonial mints were the earliest coins that were brought in. These were minted in various Spanish countries around the world.

The Spanish dos mundos that were extensively circulated worldwide from 1732-1772 also reached the Philippines. The coin features twin crowned globes reflecting Spanish rule over the Old and the New World.

The shortage of fractional coins at the time led the Spanish government to create the barillas, crude bronze or bronze coins worth about one centavo in the Philippines. The Filipino term "barya", meaning "small change," had its origin in barrilla.

Coins from other Spanish colonies that reached the Philippines were counter-stamped to legally circulate in the country. Gold coins with the portrait of Queen Isabela were minted in Manila. Silver pesos with the profile of Alfonso XII were the last coins minted in Spain.

The first paper money in circulation was the pesos fuertes which were issued by the country's first bank, the El Banco Espanol Filipino de Isabel II.

Revolutionary Period (1898-1899)

The 1898 Declaration of Independence brought a short-lived revolutionary currency replacing the Spanish-Filipino Peso. The first Philippine president, General Emilio Aguinaldo, issued its own coins and paper currency under the Malolos Constitution.

Two types of two-centavo copper coins were introduced into the system. Revolutionary noted in denominations 1, 5, and 10 pesos were printed and hand-signed by Pedro Paterno, Mariano Limjap, and Telesforo Chuidian.

Revolutionary currency was withdrawn from circulation and declared illegal currency after the arrival of the Americans in 1898 and the eventual surrender of General Aguinaldo to the Americans.

American Occupation (1900-1941)

The United States took possession of the Philippines in 1901 and established a new unit of currency. The introduction of modern banking, credit systems, and currency made the Philippines one of the most prosperous countries in East Asia.

The country's monetary system was based on the gold standard, and the Philippine peso was pegged to the American dollar exactly half of a US dollar or 2 pesos per USD in 1903 until the country became independent in 1946.

The coins issued bore the designs of Filipino engraver and artist, Melecio Figueroa. Coins in the denomination of one-half centavo to 1 peso were minted. 

El Banco Espanol Filipino was renamed to Bank of the Philippine Islands in 1912. After which, all the notes and coins issued up to 1933 were changed from Spanish to English. The treasury certificates replaced the silver certificates series, and a one-peso note was added beginning May 1918.

The Japanese Occupation (1942-1945)

World War II caused severe disturbances to the Philippine monetary system. During the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines, two kinds of notes were issued. These war notes were in big denominations and had no backup reserves. The Filipinos dubbed it "Mickey Mouse" amidst the worst inflation in the history of the Philippines.

On the other hand, provinces and municipalities issued their own guerrilla notes or resistance currencies which were in low denominations. Most of these were sanctioned by the Philippine government-in-exile to show resistance against the Japanese occupation.

The Philippine Republic

The establishment of the Central Bank of the Philippines in 1949 led to the reintroduction of a formal Filipino currency. The first currencies issued were the English series of banknotes and later in the late 1960s, became more filipinized with the adoption of the Filipino language in the currency and the images of national heroes. A series of notes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 pesos was launched in 1969.

In 1973, the Ang Bagong Lipunan (ABL) series notes were circulated. The lowest denomination was the 2 peso, and the highest denomination was the 100 peso.

The ABL series was followed by the New Design Series (NDS). The new 500 pesos was launched in 1987. The BSP issued the first 1,000 peso notes in 1991 and 200 peso notes in 2002. It was later retitled as the BSP series and bore the new seal of the BSP.

In 2009, the BSP launched a massive redesign for the current notes and coins to enhance security and increase longevity. The notes displayed popular Filipinos and iconic natural wonders.

In December 2010, BSP released the New Generation Currency (NGC) Series. The full set of NGC coin series consisting of 1 sentimo, 5-sentimo, 25 sentimo, and the 1-piso, 5 piso, and 10 piso coins were released in March 2018.

The Philippine Peso Today


Currently, banknotes of denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 pesos are in circulation. All notes are of vibrant colors and have images of famous Filipinos and events in Philippine history as well as the country's endemic fauna and flora and natural riches. The bills' size does not vary but is distinctly different in colors.

In February 2016, the BSP distributed a new 100-peso note, which came with a better purple or purple hue. The 100 peso of the NGC series is still in circulation. The NDS in circulation since 1985 was demonetized in 2017.

On December 11, 2019, the BSP announced that the 20 peso note would be converted into a coin. 


Currently, coins of 1,5,10 and 25 cents and 1, 5, 10, and 20 pesos are in use. These coins are from the previous BSP coin series and the newly released NGC coin series.

The BSP declared a redesign of the 5-peso coin of the NGC series. The new design requires the inclusion of bumps on both sides of the coin.

Errors In Coins And Banknotes

100- Piso Bill Error Of 2005

The 100-Piso bill became a subject of controversy after the bill was printed with the then President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was misspelled. The bills incorrectly spelled the President's name as "Gloria Macapagal-Arrovo'' instead of the correct "Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo." 2 million of the erroneous notes were already in circulation as legal tenders prompting a public apology from the BSP.

Many collectors have fueled a secondary market for coins and note with errors using platforms like eBay, where buyers and sellers can bid and auction. Bills with "Gloria Macapagal-Arrovo" became a much sought-after collectors' item.

Philippine Peso Was As Good As An Emirati Dirham In 2006

By August 2006, it became publicly known that the Philippine 1 peso coin is equal in size and weight to a UAE 1 dirham coin. This led to fraud in places that accepted Dirham coins, such as vending machines and parking tickets.

Similar frauds have also occurred in the United States, as the 1 peso coin is roughly the same size as the USD 25 cents coin. Although digital parking meters were not affected, most vending machines will still likely accept it as a quarter.

In the most recent case, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's middle name was misspelled as "Boa" in the 1,000 Peso banknotes released in 2010. However, the BSP denied that the PHP 1,000 bills with the incorrect surname of the president are not recognized as legal tender by the BSP and did not come from its printing facility in Quezon City.

Fake or counterfeit notes are another problem that all governments and central banks need to watch closely. The BSP runs a reward scheme to encourage the public to report any information on currency counterfeiting, defacement/mutilation of Philippine currency banknotes and coins, or any activity pertaining to currency integrity.

History Of USD To PHP

In the history of USD to PHP exchange rate pairing, USD to PHP reached an all-time high of 56.341 in October 2004 and a record low of 2.000 in Jan 1962. The conversion rates of USD/PHP today stand at 1 USD to 51.33 PHP at the time of writing.

The exchange rate fluctuates daily. Many factors affect the exchange rate. The value of the Peso has slumped over the years. However, the weak PHP against the USD has one silver lining: the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) can send more pesos in remittances to families in the Philippines.

OFW remittances are an important source of foreign income for the Philippines. In fact, the United States was the highest source of remittances in 2020, accounting for around 11.94 billion U.S. dollars.

In addition to exchange rates, fees on money transfers impact the remittances being sent. While it is not possible to avoid the transfer fees every single time, there are cheap ways of sending money to the Philippines from the US.

In conclusion, to understand the evolution of PHP, we had to understand the evolution of the Republic of the Philippines. The sensitivity around the topic is an interest for many fields of research.

While socio-political factors impact a currency's standing, it is mostly down to the basic economics - demand and supply. The value of PHP in relation to other currencies is what we know as the exchange rate, such as USD to PHP. Because exchange rates fluctuate daily if you send money from the US to the Philippines, always compare USD to PHP rates before sending money.

Rate article:
Money Transfer FAQ's
Related Articles
Choosing the Best Savings Account for NRIs: NRE vs NRO Accounts

For Indians moving abroad, you will have a multitude of choices you will need to make. One of the most pivotal decisions you will need to make revolves around selecting the right bank account to manage finances. It can get very overwhelming. Rest easy, we are here to help make that decision as easy as possible. India’s banking system offers two types of accounts tailored for Non-Resident Indians(NRIs): Non-Resident External (NRE Account) and Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO Account). Understanding the nuances and similarities between these accounts is vital to making an informed decision.What is an NRE Account?An NRE account is a savings account allowing NRIs to deposit foreign income earned outside India. A significant advantage is the repatriation of both the principal amount and the interest earned, facilitating easy transfer of funds to your overseas account without restrictions.Additionally, interest earned on NRE accounts remains tax-free in India, providing NRIs with an efficient means to save and grow their foreign income. However, funds in this account must be maintained in Indian National Rupees (INR).How Does an NRO Account Differ? In contrast, an NRO account is designed for managing income earned within India, like rental income, dividends, or pension. While NRO accounts also offer repatriation benefits, they come with limitations. The transfer of funds from an NRO account to an NRI account is capped at $1 million per financial year, requiring a certificate from a chartered accountant affirming tax compliance, including TDS rates, deductions, and DTAA applicability.Interest earned on an NRO account’s balance is taxable under Indian tax laws, with funds also maintained in Indian Rupees.  Choosing Between NRE and NRO AccountsThe choice between an NRE and NRO account should align with your income source and repatriation needs. An NRE account suits foreign-earned income and easy repatriation, while an NRO savings account is best for Indian-sourced earnings, allowing limited repatriation after tax deductions.                                                     Benefits of NRE and NRO Accounts:1. Access for Family Members: Both NRE and NRO accounts offer easy access for family members in India. Banks like ICICI Bank NRI Services provide a mandate Holder card and a chequebook to the customer’s family members for convenient access.2. Interest Rates: Interest rates on both account types are similar, varying slightly among banks. Checking prevailing rates before deciding is prudent.  Explore ICICI Bank NRI ServicesOpen an NRE or NRO Account with ICICI Bank for lucrative features like Dedicated Relationship Manager, Family Banking services, attractive interest rates and more.Making the Right Choice  Selecting between NRE and NRO accounts requires careful evaluation of your financial circumstances. Each offers distinct benefits catering to different needs. Consider income sources, tax obligations, repatriation needs, and family access before deciding. Consulting with bank representatives can provide clarity and guide you toward the optimal decision for your financial situation and goals.To compare the top NRE and NRO accounts–including ICICI NRI–to find the best one for you, visit the NRE Account Compare Page or the NRO Account Compare Page.   

How to Get the Best US Dollar to Philippine Peso Exchange Rate?

If you're planning to send money to the Philippines or simply want to know how to maximize the value of your US dollars when converting them to Philippine pesos, understanding the dynamics of the currency exchange market is essential.In this comprehensive guide, we discuss strategies and tips for getting the best US dollar to Philippine peso exchange rate.We'll cover topics like the dollar to Philippine peso rate today, historical trends, and the best ways to send money to the Philippines efficiently.Before we dive into strategies, let's learn the basics of exchange rates.Why Exchange Rate Matter When Sending the US Dollar to the Philippine Peso?The exchange rate is the value of one currency in terms of another currency. In this case, 1 Dollar to Philippine Peso (USD/PHP) represents how many Philippine pesos you can get in exchange for one US dollar.This exchange rate is influenced by various factors including economic conditions, geopolitical events, and even market sentiment to name a few.Since the exchange rate between two currencies is constantly fluctuating, driven by market forces of supply and demand, it is important to send your money when the exchange rate is working in your favor. In other words, you receive a greater amount of pesos for each dollar you exchange.Read more on exchange rates.Dollar to Philippine Peso Rate TodayAs you may already know, exchange rates fluctuate daily due to market forces. You can check the current exchange rate on financial news websites, currency converter apps, or by contacting your local bank.Keep in mind that different financial institutions may offer slightly different rates due to fees and commissions.The dollar to Philippine peso exchange rate on 9th September traded at 56.66. Over the last four weeks, USD/PHP lost 0.61%. Over the last 12 months, its price fell by 0.25%.As per Trading Economics' prediction, the US dollar to Philippine Peso is expected to trade at 57.17 by the end of this quarter and at 59.15 in one year.US Dollar to Philippine Peso HistoryReviewing the historical trends of the US Dollar to Philippine Peso (USD to PHP) exchange rate can be a valuable tool for anyone looking to make informed decisions about currency exchange.This historical data provides a window into how the exchange rate has behaved over time, which in turn can help you assess whether the current rate is favorable or not.You can find historical exchange rate data on financial websites and use it to identify patterns and trends.Once you've obtained historical data, take the time to analyze it. Look for trends, anomalies, and any factors that might have influenced rate fluctuations.Armed with this knowledge, you can make more informed decisions about when to exchange your US dollars for Philippine pesos, increasing your chances of getting a favorable rate.Why it is Important to be aware of the Exchange Rate Margins?To avoid paying high money transfer fees, it's important to be aware of the exchange rate margins imposed by banks and money transfer providers.While these entities use the mid-market rate (real exchange rate) when trading amongst themselves, they apply a markup to this rate when offering their services to customers. This markup, known as the exchange rate margin, represents the difference between the mid-market rate and the rate provided to consumers.Banks and money transfer providers generate revenue through this marked-up exchange rate and by charging transfer fees. Even a slight variation in the rate can result in significant costs when sending substantial sums of money.Depending on the chosen money transfer service and the amount of money being sent, these exchange rate margins can vary widely, ranging from as low as 0.01% to as high as 10% or more.To avoid these costs, you should seek providers with competitive exchange rates and transparent fee structures, ultimately ensuring that you get the most value when transferring money.Tips to Get the Best USD to PHP Exchange RateFind out the Real Exchange RatesStart by searching for the mid-market rate on Google or Reuters for the currency pairing you intend to use. Utilize any online currency conversion tool to convert US dollars to Philippine pesos.Understanding the mid-market rate will help you gauge the fairness of the exchange rate offered by your chosen service provider. The closer you are to the mid-market rate, the more funds your recipient will receive.Stay InformedKeep yourself updated with the latest financial news and events that might affect the exchange rate. Economic reports, political developments, and global market trends can all impact the value of the US dollar against the Philippine peso.Stay alert for fluctuations in the USD/PHP exchange rate. One advantage of the weaker PHP against the USD is that you can send more pesos to your family in the Philippines in exchange for your US dollars.Choose the Right TimeTiming is crucial when exchanging currency. While you can't predict market movements with certainty, you can track historical trends to identify periods of relative strength or weakness for the US dollar. Consider exchanging your money during favorable market conditions.Shop AroundExchange rates and fees offered by different banks and currency exchange providers can vary significantly. Don't hesitate to shop around and compare rates to find the best deal. Online currency converters and rate comparison tools such as CompareRemit can be especially helpful.Consider Online TransfersIf you're sending money to the Philippines, consider using online money transfer services. These platforms often offer competitive exchange rates and lower fees compared to traditional banks. Some popular options include Wise, Remitly, Instarem, and PandaRemit.Use Forward ContractsIf you have a specific future date for your currency exchange, consider using a forward contract. This allows you to lock in a favorable exchange rate in advance, protecting your money from future rate fluctuations.Avoid Airport KiosksAirport currency exchange kiosks are notorious for offering unfavorable rates. Try to avoid exchanging money at airports unless it's absolutely necessary.Best Way to Send Money to the PhilippinesSending money to the Philippines can be done through various methods, but choosing the best way involves considering factors like speed, cost, and convenience.Some popular ways to send money to the Philippines are:Bank Transfers: Many banks in the US offer international wire transfers to the Philippines, but they can be expensive due to fees and less competitive exchange rates. They may be ideal if you are sending a large sum of money.Cash Pickup: Money Transfer companies such as Western Union, Moneygram, and Ria offer cash pickups as a delivery option. Cash pickups stand out as the optimal choice during unexpected financial emergencies, ensuring quick access to needed funds. If your recipient prefers cash, consider services that allow for cash pickup at local agents in the Philippines.Online Money Transfer Services: Online money transfer services like Wise, Remitly, and other similar service providers offer competitive rates, lower fees, and fast transfers. They are often the preferred choice for sending money to the Philippines.Mobile wallet: Mobile wallets have become increasingly popular for sending money to the Philippines, with Gcash leading the way as a prime example. The mobile wallet option not only offers speed and ease but often comes with competitive currency exchange rates and low fees, making it a cheap and efficient choice for sending money to the Philippines.Cryptocurrency: Some people use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to send money internationally, as it can provide fast and potentially lower-cost transfers. However, this option may not be suitable for everyone due to its volatility and complexity.Frequently Asked QuestionsHow much is 1 dollar to Philippine peso?The exchange rate between the US dollar (USD) and the Philippine peso (PHP) can fluctuate daily based on market conditions. To find the current exchange rates, you can check financial news websites, use currency converter apps, or contact your local bank. As of 9th September, 1 USD equals 56.66 PHP.How to convert PHP to USD?To convert Philippine pesos (PHP) to US dollars (USD), you can visit a currency exchange service, a local bank, or use an online currency converter tool. Simply enter the amount in PHP, and it will provide you with the equivalent in USD.How to send money to the Philippines?There are several ways to send money to the Philippines: bank transfers, money transfer services, mobile wallets, etc. Refer to the blog for the details.What is the cheapest way to send money to the Philippines?The cheapest way to send money to the Philippines can vary depending on factors such as the amount you're sending, the exchange rate offered, and the fees involved.Generally, online money transfer services like Wise often offer competitive rates and lower fees compared to traditional banks and other transfer options. However, it's essential to compare rates and fees to find the cheapest option for your specific needs.How much does it cost to send money to the Philippines?The cost of sending money to the Philippines can vary widely depending on the service provider, the amount being sent, and the method of transfer.Some providers may charge a flat fee, while others may have a percentage-based fee. Additionally, exchange rate margins can impact the overall cost.To find out the exact cost, you should check with the specific service provider you plan to use, as fees and rates can change over time.ConclusionMaximizing the US dollar to Philippine peso currency exchange rates involves knowing how exchange rates work, staying informed, timing your currency exchange carefully, and selecting the right money transfer service. By following these tips and monitoring historical trends, you can enhance the value of your currency conversion.Keep in mind that exchange rates fluctuate, so adjusting your approach to current market conditions is essential. Whether sending money to family or handling international transactions, informed choices can lead to long-term savings.If you're looking for the best USD to PHP today, use CompareRemit to discover top remittance providers and the best dollar-to-Philippine pesos exchange rate!

panda remit
Spotlight: Panda Remit

Panda Remit is an international remittance company that is leaping into the market with the goal of offering the best rates and lowest fees. At a fraction of the cost in comparison to other remittance services, plus 24/7 customer support and zero fees on your first transfer, they are quickly making headway in the remittance marketplace. They are constantly growing, now offering remittance services to over 30 countries and are continuing to launch new corridors. When choosing Panda Remit, you can expect to receive excellent customer service, ease of use, and no hidden fees.Panda Remit was founded in Hong Kong by Wo Transfer (HK) Limited and is backed by a very large investment firm, Sequoia Capital. The company was also accepted into the Mastercard Start Path Program back in 2020. Since launching in China, they have rapidly entered international markets including North America, Asia, and Europe since their inception in 2018. Today, their services are utilized by millions across the globe.Key Features of Panda RemitPanda Remit is an online remittance service that prioritizes its customers. The user's ability to send and receive money in more ways is of the utmost importance. They also offer a 100% money transfer guarantee, which means that if your transaction falls through, you don't pay any fees or costs, unlike most other remittance services.Additional Benefits Include:No sending fees on your first transferAbility to send money to over 30 countriesReceive money via E-wallets, bank cards, and cash pickup optionsSend money via mobile banking, bank cards, and online payment systemsCompletely safe and secure backed by industry-standard security protocols and encryption to protect your personal dataSend money in as fast as 2 minutesEasy-to-use mobile application24/7 customer supportNo hidden feesHow to Use Panda RemitStart using Panda Remit today by following these easy steps:Open up a free Panda Remit account by downloading the Panda Remit application for IOS or Android.When you open up the app, click the button in the bottom right corner that looks like the silhouette of a person.At the top of the page, click the "Login/Registration" link.Create your free account by selecting the country/region you will be sending money from.Next, enter in your phone number or email address - whichever you prefer to create an account with.You will receive a verification code either via email or phone, depending on what was used to create your account.Enter the verification code and agree to their terms and conditions to continue.You will then be prompted to create a password.Next, the app will ask you for Remitter Information. Fill out the form with your personal information, including your name and home address. Afterwards, you will need to upload a required personal identification document such as your passport, driver's license, or ID card for verification.You will then be able to send your first transfer!How to complete your first transfer:Select transfer details including the receiving country and the amount you want to send.Create your recipient's profile with their information and receiving method.Select the sending method by choosing from the supported options of the sending country.Confirm your transfer - please note that most transfers take around one working day.Track your transaction's status through the app!If you experience any issues while using Panda Remit, don't hesitate to reach out to their customer service support team at [email protected]. They offer customer support 24/7 and will be happy to assist you. There is a reason why they have over 50,000 high-rated reviews and have a 4.9/5 score on Trustpilot.Quick Links:CAD to INR TransferAUD to NPR TransferAUD to INR TransferAUD to PHP TransferAUD to BDT TransferAUD to LKR TransferGBP to INR TransferGBP to PHP TransferSend money instantly online or using your smartphone today using one of the most trusted remittance services globally - Panda Remit.

Download the CompareRemit App
Download the CompareRemit App
Personalize your CompareRemit experience with your preferred corridor and receive target exchange rate notifications, seamless transitions to partner apps, and real-time comparisons of top remittance providers at your fingertips.
Personalize your CompareRemit experience with your preferred corridor and receive target exchange rate notifications, seamless transitions to partner apps, and real-time comparisons of top remittance providers at your fingertips.

Get Listed or Advertise

Download Our Free App

Try our faster, enhanced mobile app for a better experience

CompareRemit App