Friday, February 8, 2008

A penny saved...

I was just browsing through the Japan Times online, when I read Amy Chavez's article that gives us a rundown of the Japanese currency and its coins. Having had the chance to use those and actually save some, it made me think of the Philippine situation of not having 1-centavo, five-centavo, and ten-centavo coins anymore. It sure is a surprise to see that people do not value money, even arriving at a point wherein five centavos would be withheld by a saleslady because they do not have those coins in stock. What is mine should be mine, and should be given back to me. After all, I earned that money. You cannot just leave change and they issue you an IOU, and visit them to collect those change, even if it accumulates over time.

Some people might criticize me for a such a petty thing, but it is thievery at its simplest and finest. If SM was to keep those 1-centavo change from a million of its customers and multiply it with the number of its stores, on a weekly basis and annually, no wonder they are Number Two in the Richest People in the Philippines list.

Maybe the reason why we continue to lag in Asia and the world is because that petty thing is actually important. Japan, Korea, and the United States do have 1-yen, 1-won, and 1-cent coins and look where they are now. Money is important (be it 1-centavo), and if everybody knows it, a peso will never be a peso without one centavo.