Fake: P500 polymer banknote featuring Philippine tarsier design

April 22, 2022 - 5:25 PM
Image of the fake P500 banknote that features the Philippine tarsier (Facebook/Pepe News)

CLAIM: Some Facebook users and pages are recently sharing photos of the supposedly new P1,000 and P500 bills on the platform.

At lease three Facebook accounts shared the same post on Thursday, April 21.

They also have the same caption with varying emoji. It reads: “Hello new 500 and 1,000 peso bill.”

These posts also circulated after the Facebook page called Night Owl by Anna Mae Lamentillo posted a photo of the redesigned P1,000 banknote on the same day.

Lamentillo is the chairman of the Build, Build, Build committee of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

“Love the new 1,000 peso bill! Congrats, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas!” the caption reads with the Philippine flag emojis.

The redesign featured the Philippine eagle in place of the three World War II heroes.

It is also made of polymer materials.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas unveiled the P1,000’s new look on Facebook on April 6.

The BSP previously announced that it is set to release ten million pieces of them in a limited circulation test later this 2022.

READ: Netizens weigh in on P1,000 bill design with Philippine Eagle in place of Filipino martyrs (philstar.com)

The P1,000 bill, the highest banknote so far, currently carries the faces of Jose Abad Santos, Vicente Lim and Josefa Llanes Escoda on the front side.

RELATED: From heroes to an animal: BSP urged to reconsider ‘priorities’ in P1,000 bill redesign


The photo of the supposed new P500 polymer banknote featuring Philippine tarsier is fake.


On Friday, BSP commented on the Facebook post of a page called “Vibes” and clarified that it did not release any P500 polymer banknote.

“Nais klaruhin ng BSP na hindi ito naglabas ng 500-Piso polymer banknote. Para sa mga official announcement, please follow our social media channels,” the comment read.

BSP has already disproved the photo of the P500 bill that featured the Philippine tarsier on the front side as fake in December 2021.

This photo was going around social media at that time.

Sought for comment, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno  told Philstar.com the following in a text message: “Fake news.”

Fact-checkers have also found that the image of the tarsier was only edited into the banknote.

A reverse image search found the tarsier to be an illustration by a Russian artist named Evgeny Turaev.

This illustration can also easily be found in several photo-sharing and stock photo websites.

The actual design of the P500 bill, the second-highest peso note in circulation, features the faces of democracy icons Benigno Aquino Jr. and his wife, former president Corazon “Cory” Aquino on the front side.

Why it matters

The pages that posted the P500 photo were immediately received by thousands of Facebook users.

The post from a page called “Pepe News” got 9,000 reactions, over 630 comments, 17,000 shares.

The post of another account named Mae Dello Pilo gained 17,000 reactions and 82,000 shares.

Lastly, the Facebook post on the page called “Vibes” garnered 16,000 reactions, 1,200 comments and 56,000 shares so far.

There are also several Facebook users who thought the P500 photo is real as seen on the comments section.

“Ayos wala na mukha ng mga Aquino sa 500,” one Facebook user said.

“Wala na [yung] mga mukha ng mga Aquino di naman sila mga hero,” another user commented.

In line with the removal of faces of Filipino heroes on bills, BSP said that the Philippine currency will soon feature the country’s rich flora and fauna.

“This is the first note in a new series of Philippine currency that will focus on the country’s rich flora and fauna,” BSP said in an emailed statement to Rappler.

This story is part of the Philippine Fact-check Incubator, an Internews initiative to build the fact-checking capacity of news organizations in the Philippines and encourage participation in global fact-checking efforts.

Interaksyon is part of #FactsFirstPH, a multi-sectoral initiative promoting truth in public space and demanding accountability for falsehoods. For those interested to join the initiative, email [email protected]

Interaksyon is also a founding partner of Tsek.ph, a collaborative fact-checking project for the 2022 Philippine elections. It is an initiative of academe, civil society groups and media to counter disinformation and provide the public with verified information.