A Billboard and Tax Collectors of Beijing in 1916

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In the front are 3 Beijing tax collectors, and behind them is a billboard reemphasizing that taxes are payable half in cash and half in banknotes. According to the date written on the billboard, this photo was taken in around November, 1916.

Since the issuance of banknotes was out of control and the value of the currency was debased, the Beijing government, with a view to mitigating its own loss from receiving banknotes for taxes, made this announcement. Obviously, cash was more preferred by them. However, silver,  including silver coins and sycee, were not mentioned at all, even though they were still in circulation. Were they still too valuable for paying taxes? Or, driven out of circulation by paper money? 

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