Philippines bank left red-faced over 'faceless' notes

Manila - The Philippine central bank said Thursday it accidentally released defective 100-peso bills with the face of a former president left out.

Officials at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) made the admission after a woman's Facebook post showing the defective 100-peso ($1.99) bills she received from an ATM went viral.

Chief among the mistakes on the notes is a blank space where the portrait of former president Manuel Roxas should have been. Two words from the country's official name were also missing.

BSP managing director Carlyn Pangilinan said the errors were caused by a "glitch" in a printing machine.

Hi BPI, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Pano ko po bibigay yung mga pamasko ko? Wala pong mukha yung mga 100 na winithdraw ko kaninang madaling araw. 😢😢

Posted by Earla Anne on Sunday, December 24, 2017

"Our quality control was manual before. Now, it is all machines so there are things that slip through," she told reporters.

Only 33 100-peso bills with the errors have been discovered so far, she added.

Authorities asked people to return the defective bills but conceded that some may want to keep them as potential collector's items.

This is not the first time the Philippines has seen such errors on currency.

In 2005, a batch of 100-peso bills with then-president Gloria Arroyo's name misspelled were accidentally put in circulation.

In 2010, currency was issued showing a rare native bird but in the wrong colours and with an incorrect map.