A crash course in changing the world.
May 17, 2020
Slums of Tondo, Manila
A new form of banking has emerged in the Philippines that aims to uplift the status of the poorest of the poor. This innovation began with the 'Bank of Change', where Filipinos classified as 'severely poor' can exchange their coins (also known as 'change', hence the clever double-meaning name of the bank) for more than its original monetary value.
one 5 centavo coin = 25 centavos
one 10 centavo coin = 1 Peso
one 25 centavos coin = 5 Pesos
one 1 Peso coin = 10 Pesos
one 5 Peso coin = 20 Pesos
one 10 Peso coin = 50 Pesos
The rationale behind this sudden increase in the value of coins is that the cost of raw materials needed to produce these coins are higher than its original monetary value. Collecting these already circulating coins are then smelted and returned to its raw form.
Only those Filipinos classified as 'severely poor' may open a bank account in the Bank of Change. These Filipinos, who often receive coins through selling of sampaguitas and other small items or singing (or simply begging) in the streets will be able receive more than its original value, allowing them to jumpstart their way out of poverty.
This innovation was also initiated by the government due to the 'lack of respect for the Piso', in which our National Hero Jose Rizal is the face. Often these coins are seen along the streets, treated as 'worthless' in this struggling economy.
That value of 'every penny counts' has been lost, with everybody aiming for a lucky draw in the lottery instead.
As a reward for those who respected the Filipino coins and collected them instead of just throwing them away, they can now convert them for at most 5 times its worth! It just goes to show that although the times may be changing, our value and respect for money must remain the same.