January 24, 2017, 5:19 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07374 UAE Dirham
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.03554 Neth Antilles Guilder
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1 Philippine Peso = 2.20331 Algerian Dinar
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.01868 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04166 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01616 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01615 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.087 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89038 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 187.41216 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15124 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.06966 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15574 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4734 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13971 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.32423 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.77896 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 267.71732 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07614 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.36677 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.7101 Iraqi Dinar
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1 Philippine Peso = 2.27496 Japanese Yen
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1 Philippine Peso = 18.06866 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 23.40052 Korean Won
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.40203 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.14595 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.24352 Myanmar Kyat
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.16041 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.12508 Mauritania Ougulya
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1 Philippine Peso = 2.18028 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02784 New Zealand Dollar
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06614 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
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1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.10379 Pakistani Rupee
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1 Philippine Peso = 116.05501 Paraguayan Guarani
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07529 Saudi Arabian Riyal
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.26348 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12864 Sudanese Pound
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.02847 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01617 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44581 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 146.3963 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.98173 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 457.63702 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17511 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.33889 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27078 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.70749 Thai Baht
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.046 Tonga Pa'ang
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07571 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1343 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6304 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 45.23188 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54889 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.01365 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 United States Dollar
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1 Philippine Peso = 65.14756 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20026 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 452.70025 Vietnam Dong
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.05129 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 12.24091 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05421 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 12.44228 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.2359 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 5.01807 Yemen Riyal
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SSS premium hike opposed, called illegal

BY JP LOPEZ AND WENDELL VIGILIA
 
LAWMAKERS and labor groups yesterday opposed the increase in monthly contributions of Social Security System (SSS) members to finance the pension hike of retirees, with senators saying that the move is contrary to law.

President Duterte approved a P1,000 pension hike for SSS members beginning next month but there will be a 1.5 percent increase in the contribution of members starting May.
Social Security System President Amado Valdez said the 1.5 percent increase in the contribution of members would go to the investment reserve fund of the agency and would not be used to fund the pension hike.

Valdez said it is the proceeds of the investment fund that is used to finance the pensions.

“All this increase in the contribution is for the investment reserve para mapalaki natin doon because, actually nanggagaling iyung pension at saka other benefit from the proceeds of our investment in the   current collection,” he said.

He, however, admitted that indirectly the increased contribution would eventually go to the pension hike since it will augment the investment fund.

Senate President pro tempore Franklin Drilon said the SSS Law  prohibits SSS from raising benefits that would require an increase in contribution.

“While the executive’s decision to finally grant the long-awaited increase in the pension of SSS retirees is commendable, it should not be used to justify an increase in the premium payment,” Drilon said.

He said the SSS can only implement an increase in the benefits of its members, subject to the approval of the President, “if such increase is based on the actuarial soundness of the reserve fund” and as “such shall not require any increase in the rate contribution.”

Drilon said while the adjustment in the rate of contribution will take effect by May 2017, it is clear that such action is carried out in order to fund the pension increase.

Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV said senators and employers were surprised by Malacañang’s move. He said he supported the move to raise the SSS pensions.

Aquino said what is needed is to increase the efficiency in the collection of contributions, instead of raising the premiums.

Sen. Francis Escudero said the SSS should explain the increase in premium and back it up with actuarial studies.

But Sens. Juan Edgardo Angara and Joel Villanueva said the increase is SSS premium is justifiable.

Angara, chairman of the Senate ways and means committee, said the agency’s funds would be depleted if the increase in SSS pension has no accompanying measure to recover the expected cash outlay.
Villanueva claimed Angara’s position is actually the sentiment of the Senate.

“Someone has to pay for the additional benefits. We are happy that our retirees will receive the additional pension and hopefully, the SSS management will be able to effectively manage the fund and improve their collection and that the increase in premium will be sufficient to make the fund sustainable,” he said.

Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the committee on government corporations, hailed the decision to increase the SSS pension and vowed to provide legislative support to ensure the stability of the fund agency.

Left-leaning congressmen from the Makabayan bloc led by Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate said the President’s decision to approve the P1,000 pension hike for SSS pensioners cannot be undertaken at the expense of contributors.

“Pwede nilang (Palace) sabihin na hindi magkasabay (ang increases). January (ang) increase (sa pension), May (naman) ‘yung contribution hike,” he said. “That is certainly a legal question kaya nais nating makita yung fine print ng (SSS) board resolution,” Zarate said.

He said Bayan Muna will continue to help the SSS board in finding ways to lengthen its fund life without increasing SSS contributions.

Zarate said the issue may lead to a legal question before the Supreme Court “and that is why we will have to thoroughly study because the law clearly states that is not the process.”

 Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin, a member of the House minority bloc, said: “The challenge now is for the SSS to have an efficient and effective collection of its members’ contributions instead of raising its premium which a big burden on the part of its members and employers.”

Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejan said Duterte is delivering a campaign promise at the expense of other people.

Anakpawis party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao urged members to oppose the increase in their contributions and instead “demand significant reforms in the institution such as improving its collection rate and coverage, getting rid of huge salaries and bonuses of executives and risky investments to the private sector.”

Partido Manggagawa chairman Renato Magtubo said there are other ways for the SSS to generate additional income to provide increase in pension.

Kilusang Mayo Uno chairman Elmer Labog said government should also consider subsidizing the SSS fund to ensure that the pension hike is sustainable. – With Gerard Naval and Jocelyn Montemayor
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