When Pope Francis visits the Philippines from Jan. 15 to 19, his trip will continue a tradition of Papal
visits to the island nation that dates to 1970.
Pope Francis will be the third pontiff to visit the Philippines
after Pope Paul VI in 1970 and Pope John Paul II in 1981 and 1995. In
honor of the papal visit, each time, the Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas
(Central Bank of the Philippines) issues commemorative coins.
The bank confirmed that it would issue 50-piso and 500-piso
commemorative coins in time for the visit from Pope Francis, though
the specifications have not been announced.
According to a call for tender the bank published in September,
seeking packaging bids for the sets, there will be 10,000 sets of
coins, suggesting one base metal and one precious metal issue.
The 2015 coins will become the eighth and ninth coins issued by the
Philippines for Papal visits.
In 1995 the bank issued silver 100- and 200-piso coins for the visit
from Pope John Paul II. When the then-new pope visited in 1981, the
bank issued silver 50-piso and gold 1,500-piso coins, in addition to a
1980 gold 1,500-piso coin.
The bank issued copper-nickel, silver and gold 1-piso coins for the
1970 visit of Pope Paul VI.
The bank generally makes the coins available for purchase, but only at sales
counters inside the country.