A 70-year old ice delivery man learned a lesson the hard way when termites feasted on his P50,000 hard-earned savings that he kept in a cabinet inside his home instead of a bank.
Luckily for Adonis Buemia who has been delivering ice for the past 30 years, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) facilitated the replacement of the termite-mutilated banknotes.
After learning about Buemia’s predicament through the Facebook account of a program in a local TV station, the BSP Currency Policy and Integrity Department immediately pre-evaluated what was left of the termite-infested bill.
Buemia received the replacement for the mutilated cash last Aug. 11 after BSP acting deputy director Nenette Malabrigo contacted the bank nearest Buemia’s residence.
A solo parent taking care of a special child, Buemia earns P300 daily from delivering ice. He managed to save P100 per day that he tucked inside a cabinet until termites feasted on them.
Through his hard work, the senior citizen was able to buy a house as well as a brand new tricycle.
“I am very happy that my money was replaced and returned to me in full amount. Thank you very much to (the bank) for accepting my money and cooperating with the BSP. Thank you so much BSP for all your help in replacing my money,” Buemia said in Filipino.
To avoid damage caused by termites, water, and other elements, the BSP encourages the public to keep their savings in BSP-supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) where they will be safe and secure through basic deposit accounts (BDAs).
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the BDA is a deposit product that meets the needs of the unbanked since it features a low opening amount capped at P100, no maintaining balance, no dormancy charges, and simplified identification requirements.
“The BSP has been actively promoting the offering of BDA to clients,” Diokno added.
According to the BSP chief, the number of BDAs offered by banks during the COVID-19 pandemic jumped by 64 percent to 6.6 million in end 2020 from four million in end 2019.
The BSP earlier reminded all authorized agent banks (AABs) to accept mutilated or doubtful currencies from the public pursuant to BSP Circular No. 829.
Banks shall subsequently forward the mutilated/doubtful banknotes and coins to the BSP for examination of redemption value and/or genuineness. To avoid disintegration or further deterioration while in transit, banks are advised to place mutilated currency in appropriate containers.
Mutilated banknotes shall be valid for redemption if the remaining surface area is no less than 3/5 of the original size of the banknote, a portion of any one of the signatures of the President of the Philippines or the Governor of the BSP remains as well as the presence of the embedded security thread or windowed security thread, unless the same is lost or damaged due to fire, water, chemical, or bitten by termites/rodents and the like.
If the threads of the banknotes were willfully removed, the BSP said the bills would no longer be valid for redemption.
Meanwhile, if you have termites at home, you can hire the services of professionals to address the problem. You can also use liquid termite insecticides for barrier and soil treatment which you can buy from home essentials stores.