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Philippine 100 Peso Note Wrongly Spells President's Name


Some Filipinos are getting a rare Christmas present this year. The government has issued some 100 peso notes with a spelling mistake in the president's name.

Christmas is a big event in the mostly Catholic Philippines, and the weeks leading up to the festival are especially busy. As the shopping spree builds, the government wants to make sure there are plenty of banknotes to go around.

This year, to meet demand, the Philippines Central Bank had some 100 peso notes, worth about $1.84 at current exchange rates, printed in a European country, which it has not named.

Unfortunately some of the notes came back with President Gloria Arroyo's last name spelled incorrectly - with a V, not a Y.

Central Bank spokeswoman Fe De La Cruz says the mistake is unprecedented.

"This is something that has not happened before. We are really taking pains to investigate exactly what happened," she said. "Number one to establish who is responsible for it. And number two so that we will be able to institute additional measures that will prevent such from happening again."

Embarrassed bank officials say only a few bills with bad spelling have been released, but did not give an amount. However, they have assured the public the money is still legal tender.

The Central Bank says other batches of 100 peso notes are being printed with the proper spelling of the President's name and over time it hopes to collect the bad bills and destroy them.

The 100 peso note plays a big part in gift giving, according to Central Bank spokeswoman Fe De La Cruz.

"Around Christmas time people here, especially the grandparents normally give cash, crisp bank notes, to the children," she explained.

Central Bank officials have apologized to President Arroyo for the error. However, some Filipinos are not complaining. They now have a collector's item to make this a very special Christmas.

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