New BSP printer on schedule

MANILA, Philippines — The installation of the new central bank’s P1.8-billion Japan-made bank-notes printer is right on schedule this month and on track for a first printing by the end of the first quarter next year.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Juan de Zuñiga Jr. said the printer installation has a completion date in December and it is on schedule.

The next thing on the program is the training of personnel but Zuñiga said this will not take up too much time. “It will be ready by first quarter (2012),” he said.

Komori Corp. of Japan through its local representative, Grapteck Inc., had previously assured the BSP that the delivery of the two intaglio printers, the finishing equipment and offset printer will be as scheduled and that the three-pronged calamities that hit Japan in March this year would not derail plans for the delivery.

The Japanese company started delivering the printer parts and equipment last August and the installation started in October.

The central bank’s Monetary Board approved the acquisition of one complete line of banknote printing and finishing equipment last March and awarded the contract to Komori Corp. but weeks later, a tsunami devastated Japan followed by an earthquake which damaged a nuclear plant and triggered a leak of dangerous substances.

Komori, the exclusive printer for Japan’s National Printing Bureau and for the Ministry of Finance, bid P1.8 billion, which was lower than the BSP budget of P3.1 billion.

The original BSP budget was actually P5.48 billion but this was for the acquisition of two superline banknote printing equipment that the Monetary Board approved on April 1, 2008. By July of that same year, the Bidding and Awards Committee conducted a bidding participated by both Komori and its rival, KBA Giori of Switzerland.

With the installation of the new printer, the BSP will start up the printing volume of both the New Design Series and New Generation Currency (NGC) designs.

The BSP last December 2010 released the first batch of the NGC banknotes and started printing the bills locally this month, but only the lower denominated 20-piso and 50-piso were printed in its Quezon City Security Plant Complex. The higher denominated 1,000-piso, 500-piso, 200-piso and 100-piso will still be outsourced.

For 2012, the BSP has programmed to outsource about 124 million pieces of NGCs while 887 million pieces will be printed locally. Overall, the NGC order for next year totals one billion pieces. The denominations of NGC that will still be outsourced are the 1,000-piso and 500-piso notes.

Oberthur of France, the world’s third largest banknotes printer, initially printed all six denominations of the new-designed Philippine bills worth P1.5 billion.

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