Posted at 12/19/2010 5:29 PM | Updated as
of 12/20/2010 6:19 PM
MANILA, Philippines - Geographically-challenged
Philippine maps and a rare parrot with the wrong-colored beak
have perturbed the country after the central bank rolled out
error-filled new editions of its peso bills.
The new-generation banknotes, rolled out
earlier this month and containing the signature of President
Benigno Aquino who took office this year, bombed spectacularly
in the graphics department, critics say.
The reverse side of the new 500-peso (11
dollar) bill features a rare native bird, the blue-naped parrot,
with its red beak incorrectly rendered in yellow and the tail
feathers underneath coloured green instead of yellow.
A map on the bill -- which also carries portraits
of Aquino's late parents -- mislocates Saint Paul's, a subterranean
river that is designated as a UNESCO world heritage site.
"Yes, they have made a very big booboo
on the parrot," said Jon Villasper, a cartographer who
is also a member of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines.
"Aside from that, they misplaced Tubbataha
reef by around 400 kilometres and Batanes is not on the map.
I believe they also misplaced Saint Paul’s subterranean
river," he told AFP by email.
Printed on the 1,000-peso bill is a map locating
the Tubbataha Reef Marine Park, another prized Philippine
UNESCO world heritage site, on or near Malaysian territorial
The map of thePhilippines which features
on six different bills re-draws the country's territory to
place its northern limit 150 kilometres south of the actual
line and exclude the Batanes island group.
Ghelynne Avril del Rosario, a Manila lawyer,
said the mistakes echoed a re-branding campaign by the tourism
ministry that was withdrawn last month amid charges that its
slogan was forgettable, it plagiarised Poland's campaign and
the URL of its website was close to that of a pornographic
Like the campaign, the bills are now fodder
for ridicule on Internet social networking sites, Rosario
"Just like scrapping the 'Pilipinas
Kay Ganda' (Philippines What a Beauty) slogan, let's scrap
the new peso notes as well!" she said.
Central bank spokeswoman Fe de la Cruz acknowledged
the criticism, but said space constraints limited the artist's
room for manoeuvre.
"In choosing the design..., we are always
guided by our commitment to enrich the appreciation and knowledge
of the Filipinos we honour on our banknotes, as well as the
unique sites and species our country should be proud of,"
"For our banknotes we used an artist's
rendition of the Philippine map that by virtue of space and
aesthetics does not reflect all of our islands and the precise
coordinates of each site," she told AFP.
"Nevetheless, we appreciate constructive
comments and we will take these into account moving forward."
It was not the first time the central bank
has been left red-faced over currency design. It was forced
in 2005 to withdraw bills that misspelled the name of Gloria
Arroyo, Aquino's predecessor as president.
The bill, which called her Gloria Arrovo,
became a much sought-after collectors' item.