21 Dec 2010

Artistic licence defended on new banknotes

4:00 pm on 21 December 2010

President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines has defended the design of new banknotes, which feature maps strewn with errors and a native parrot with a wrong-coloured beak.

Mr Aquino says some artistic licence was taken with the 500-peso note.

The reverse side 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 misplaces Saint Paul's, a subterranean river designated by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

On the 1000-peso bill, the Tubbataha reef marine park is misplaced by about 400 kilometres.

Mr Aquino says if he wants to find a particular place he will use GPS or a map.

It's not the first time the central bank has been left red-faced over currency design. In 2005, it had to withdraw notes that misspelt the name of Mr Aquino's predecessor, Gloria Arroyo.