Controversies aside, the Philippines has won the International Bank Note Society’s (IBNS) prestigious “Bank Note of the Year Award” for 2022 for its 1000 piso polymer banknote.

Out of 100 newly-released banknotes worldwide, 19 were nominated by IBNS members for their new designs, and the new Philippine banknote won the competition.

“From the onset of voting the Philippines 1000 Piso note was the overwhelming favorite,” the IBNS said

The bill shows two national symbols: the critically endangered Philippine eagle and the holographic Sampaguita, the country’s national flower. The note’s reverse design, which displays the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, South Sea pearl, and other national emblems, are unaltered from the previous issue.

The note was printed by the Reserve Bank of Australia and its wholly-owned subsidiary Note Printing Australia. The use of polymer, a material that represents a dramatic shift from cotton and abaca previously used, is a popular trend in banknote printing.

“Descendants of the three World War II heroes previously on the face of the note were so opposed to the design change that the Central Bank will continue to print both varieties of the 1000 Piso banknote for the time being,” IBNS said.

IBNS said that polymer banknotes continue to be its favorites and are now recurrent award recipients.

Each year, the banknote that has the best design, aesthetic merit, and technical innovation in the eyes of the IBNS voting membership is awarded the IBNS Bank Note of the Year Award.

Recent award winners have been miniature works of art that represent popular themes in their respective countries, the IBNS said.

“The Philippines successful design in eye-pleasing blue combines an endangered species with an environmental motif. The 1000 Piso note is similar in width but slightly longer than U.S. greenbacks. The current exchange value of 1000 Piso (Pesos) is approximately 18 USD, 17 Euros or 15 British Pounds as of the date of this announcement,” it said.

The Northern Ireland’s (Ulster Bank) 50 Pound bill, featuring flora, fauna, and workers, and Scotland’s (Bank of Scotland) 100 Pound note, featuring Sir Walter Scott and Dr. Flora Murray, were the close runners-up.

The top six vote-getters also included Algeria’s 2000 Dinar, Barbados’ 50 Dollar, and Egypt’s 10 Pound banknotes, all continuing the trend of polymer banknote printing. Algeria’s banknote features a martyr’s memorial with a minaret, while Barbados’ banknote features former Prime Minister Errol Barrow. Egypt’s banknote displays a mosque with a pyramid and an ancient queen.