Dispersed in the western Pacific Ocean in Southeast Asia, the island nation of the Republic of the Philippines is surrounded by the West Philippine Sea, the Philippine Sea, and the Celebes Sea, sharing maritime borders with China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Palau, and Vietnam. Positioned on the Pacific Ring of Fire near the equator, the Philippines is vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons. This megadiverse country is home to a myriad of wildlife and is rich in natural resources.

The country is considered to be a newly industrialized country, shifting from an agriculture-based economy to one that relies on manufacturing and services including business process outsourcing, tourism, real estate, and finance industries. 

With expanding industrialization and an increasing population of the middle class, the Philippine economy has become one of the most dynamic in the East Asia Pacific region. Thanks to its solid consumer demand backed by its workforce and remittances. The poverty rate has declined to 16.6% in 2018, contributing to the nation’s overall growth.  

The Philippine Peso originated during the Colonial era at the time Spain ruled the islands. The colonists brought in Spanish Dollars to be used as a medium of exchange. After gaining its independence from Spain in 1898, the Filipine Republic issued its own banknotes denominated in 1, 2, 10, 20, 25, 50, and 100 pesos. These banknotes bear the signature of Pedro A.Paterno, Mariano Limjap, or Telesforo Chuidian. The Philippine peso was initially backed by the country’s natural resources. Later, it was pegged to gold when the US took control of the nation. In 1993, the peso became a floating currency.  

Recent Philippine peso banknotes are in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 pesos in orange, red, violet, green, yellow, and blue, respectively. Depicted on their obverse designs are the seal of the Central Bank of the Philippines and portraits of significant personalities such as former presidents and politicians. On their reverse are endemic animals and natural attractions.

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