Sunday, July 31, 2011

BSP unveils new generation
Banknotes, security features

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 30, (PIA) -- You hand to the bank cashier a wad of P1,000.00 bills and she picks out two pieces which are fakes, what do you do?

Well, practically nothing.

The banks are mandated to stop the circulation of counterfeits, and if you insist, you could be hailed in court, as article 168 of the Revised Penal Code says that mere possession of a fake banknote is illegal and punishable.

According to the authorities at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, spotting the fakes in the first place is ones first protection against losing hard-earned money.

To facilitate all of this, the BSP opened a briefing in Bohol, on the New Generation Currency (NGC) which, they said packs at least seven security features including one that puts in embossed braille dots to allow the blind to pick the note’s value.

The NGC, which comes in denominations of P20, P50, P100, P200, P500 and P1,000 has enhanced the security features carried on by the older banknotes; to help the public detect the fakes from the real McCoy.

BSP Regional Director Ma. Lux Berciles, in her opening remarks said the NGC is a move by the government to better “protect its people from counterfeiters by incorporating the latest features in banknotes security features.”

Incorporating the latest banknote security features makes it hard for counterfeiters to copy and makes it easy for people to check on the design as counterfeit, she said.

During the briefing attended by cash handlers and stakeholders in the business and financial sector Friday, BSP said the NGC packs at least seven security features in its smaller denomination notes and as much as 9 features in its P1,000 note.

The coming of the NGC however does not mean the decommissioning of the older note, which was then known as the New Design Series, BSP Cash department’s Ludwig Heinz S. Georfo said.

Georfo, who is a senior currency specialist said the new design series which would eventually be replaced by the NGC would still run for three to four more years.

Handling the briefing proper, Georfo said the NGC uses features than can be checked using one’s senses of sight and touch.

According to the currency specialist, the real NGC banknote uses embossed prints which one can feel when touching the Republika ng Pilipinas and the monetary value of the note.

Also, the serial number, unlike the older series uses two prefix letters and 6 or 7 asymmetric digits.

Like the older generation notes, the NGC also sport the usual security fibers visible through red and blue threads embedded in the paper and glows when viewed under ultraviolet light. 

Moreover, the watermark, which is a common international security mark has now an added feature: the value of the note.

The NGC also sports a see-through mark: the word Filipino written in old baybayin text can be completely seen when the note is viewed against the light.

A new security feature, the concealed value of the note can also be seen superimposed on the portrait at the upper-left side of the note and this can be seen when the note is viewed while rotated 45 degrees and tilted down.
Finally, the old security thread embedded on the note can be seen vertically across and is visible on either side of the note.

Bigger denominations; P500 and P1000 carry even more security features: an optically variable device which allows the Blue napped Parrot to chance colors when the note is rotated.

While this is also true with the South Sea Pearl image of the P1,000, another security feature is the optically variable ink that changes the color of the monetary value of P1,000 from green to blue when viewed at different angles.

And BSP warns, do not tear the sides of the banknote to test it as real, Georfo said tearing the side or intentional mutilation of money and banknotes (writing, putting up marks, staples is punishable by PD 247. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

Probation offers FTO
another chance in life

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 28, (PIA) – On the popular belief that a court docket is the end of one’s promising future, Parole and Probation Office (PPO) here said, it is not.

In fact, for first time offenders (FTOs) who resolve to straighten the past, an agency under the Department of Justice (DOJ) opens a door for an alternative to the bleak life of serving a jail term.

“Given the opportunity, a probation granted by the court for can actually lead to the restoration of one’s civil and political rights,” says Raquelito Rollan of the PPO based in Tubigon town.

“We have corrected the notion of the offenders that he has lost all his rights,” Rollan said, emphasizing the offer for first time offenders to get PPO help. 

At the weekly Kapihan sa PIA, Rollan, along with Tagbilaran City based PPO Cirilo Maramba said the PPO operates on the philosophy that man is borne innately good and his actions are just products of his environment and several other circumstances.

“Man is basically good, it is the environment and upbringing that affects his day to day activities,” Maramba, who was once a seminarian, intoned.

“Our service is to give [people who may have committed crimes] the chance for reforms,” adds Rollan who is currently heading the office in Bohol.

Rollan said a probation is a court granted privilege  to first time offenders, after conviction for crimes with sentences of not more than six years and whose brushes with law does not involve crimes against national security.

A probation is a still serving a court sentence, but this one is outside the jails where the state grants to the individual the chance to restore his life through an intervention program that includes physical treatment to those incapacitated, livelihood trainings for better reintegration and moral and spiritual sessions for healing relationships with the society and his aggrieved party, both parole officers explained.

“Imagine too, how much the government is spending for those it has to feed in prison?” Rollan asks, stressing that a court granted probation is far less costly alternative to jails.

Aside from that economic gain for the government by granting probation, it can also get an individual an intervention which can come through a program that includes an all encompassing program aimed at facilitating one’s gradual reintegration into the mainstream.

Instead of serving the full term specified by the courts upon conviction, a court granted probation upon the recommendation of the PPO can allow one to stay out of the jail, and under the PPO supervision.

By this program, we allow the redemption of a valuable human resource that could otherwise be spending his productive years in jail, Maramba said.

For more information on how to avail of the parole and probation program, visit the PPO, Hall of Justice Building, New Capitol Site, Tagbilaran City. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

PPA secures Bohol Show-window port

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 29, (PIA) -- If you think you can do something stupid at the Port of Tagbilaran and get away with it, think again.

Although sparsely manned by a handful of port police and complimentary of troop of blue guards, the port of Tagbilaran has not had any unsolved crimes, said Port Police Superintendent Reynaldo Evora during the recent Kapihan sa PIA Thursday.

Its secret: a good combination of 10 newly installed fixed and revolving closed circuit television (CCTV) system installed in strategic locations that : the big brother which is capable of simultaneously monitoring every activity at the port.

The port is our show-window for Bohol and we are here to show that the tourist island is safe and secure, said the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) through Architect Epelito Arao-arao II.

Apart form that, the city port, or the Tourist Port of Tagbilaran has been equipped with necessary facilities to make the facility not just as a safe and secure for trade and commerce, and also as a tourism service facility, he added, during the recent Kapihan sa PIA, Thursday.

“The security feature highlights PPA’s goal of securing the port as they boasted of no unsolved criminalities, that is of the very few that happened inside the PPA secured areas,” also revealed Port police Superintendent Reynaldo Evora.

Evora, station commander of the Port police Unit came to the radio forum on the air accompanied by Arao-arao, PPA information officer to disseminate information on the safety regulations at the port of Tagbilaran.

 According to Evora, for the lack of warm-bodies, the PPA compensates with the CCTVs installed in strategic locations at the port to monitor operations and traffic flow.

 “The CCTVs take over the task needed for a huge police force complement,” he stressed.

 “With a competent person manning the security cameras, a single personnel manning the computer monitor can track anyone who has committed a crime or a simple misdemeanor,” he said.

 It was just unlucky that a reported burglary inside a ticketing office inside Starlight operated terminal happened when PPA was still tweaking on the security cameras, Evora said.

 Because of the security enhancement, PPA has pinpointed through its CCTV individuals who have been involved in altercations to mild disturbance, drivers who unwittingly carry baggage left out by passengers and a good visual of every person coming in and going put of Bohol.

 This should deter criminals from pursuing their evil intent as their faces could be recorded and getting then accountable could be facilitated, both suggest.

 Aside for this security asset, the port also keeps an x-ray machines for outgoing passengers, a fire team, complete fire fighting equipment and well designated dangerous cargo areas where any casual visitor is not allowed near.

 To maintain the safety and security of the port, we have also issued permits to operate to companies with regular businesses at the port, this should help us account for the traffic that comes in, said Psupt. Evora.

 Wearing of personal protective equipment hard hats, safety boots, mask and others are musts in working areas, parking spaces inside are defined to make sure that there are no obstructions that hamper the flow of traffic carrying goods for delivery allover Bohol, Arao-arao said.

While this has recently become a largely tourism service facility as an entry port for Bohol, we at Tagbilaran Port have also to admit that it is also a port for trade and commerce so we have to allow those with legitimate purpose.  (Rey Anthony Chiu)

PSSupt Oppus orders…
Investigate possible
Police “wangwang”

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 28, (PIA) – A ranking regional police official from the Police Regional Office 7 (PRO-7) orders Camp Dagohoy to immediately initiate an investigation on complaints of alleged police “wangwang.”

“Wangwang” has become a byword for abuse of power and authority by any government official and employee, after President Benigno Simeon Aquino III used it during his recent State of the Nation address this week.

PSSupt. Louie Oppus, Central Visayas Deputy Regional Director for Operations called Camp Dagohoy officials led by PSSupt. Constantino Barot to look into the complaint against possible police abuse.

A complainant reported that, sometime weeks ago, police officers attending a fiesta celebration in Taloto allegedly discharged weapons.

She added she knew they were police because they were using a white Toyota Innova patrol car.

Col. Oppus also asked City Police Chief Arcadio Jamora Jr. to check on the complaint even as he assured that he will see to it that the police transformation program could also be implemented not just in the regional office but also here.

Oppus, who was promoted to the regional position used to head Tagbilaran City police station, him being from Bohol, interacted in a radio program after the allegations of police abuse.

Saying that the act of discharging firearms alarmed their guests, the complainant also added by the series of shots, a magazine could have been fully discharged.

While tactfully telling the complainant an earlier report could have been more helpful to the police, he also asked her more details to help speed up investigations.

On subsequent checks, a media reporter said the alleged fiesta host admitted they had police officer relatives from Dimiao and Bilar as guests but denied the men were discharging weapons.

“Those were firecrackers,” the reporter relayed the host’s information on the air.

While it may not be illegal to discharge firecrackers, PSSupt. Oppus say that using a police car for the occasion could be contrary to existing police policies and could be “wangwang”.

The police patrol car can only be used for official functions, Oppus said.

“If there is an emergency call and they brought the car, how could the station respond,” asks the police officer married to a city councilor here.

PSSupt. Barot on the other hand vowed an immediate investigation even as he said those concerned may not be from the city police station.

“The City police station does not own an Innova,” Barot said and Bilar added that Bilar police station has only “a jeep for a patrol car”.

We assure you7 we will look into that, Barot told the police deputy regional director. (Rey Anthony Chiu)  

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