January 23, 2018, 5:40 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07248 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.15117 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03513 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37432 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02466 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03513 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03947 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.63391 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0315 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00743 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.55654 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01974 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02619 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13539 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06307 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01974 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.25863 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19114 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 395.1056 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03943 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02465 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01899 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.98717 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12629 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 56.09039 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.14821 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01974 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.78074 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.40983 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.49517 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12017 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94356 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.24754 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25256 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34873 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.537 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01614 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03952 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01423 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01424 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08955 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95481 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 177.50149 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14478 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.06335 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15424 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4645 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11993 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2536 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.98796 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 262.6801 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06734 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2595 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.36688 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 722.49855 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02684 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.44306 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01395 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.18305 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02388 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.36803 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.05665 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.11131 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.76199 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.05013 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00592 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01618 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.40616 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 163.40439 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.70989 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.03631 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.51372 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24018 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06017 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01225 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02645 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1822 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33221 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.99072 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.54431 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 47.6416 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15887 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.94691 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64535 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3059 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.08092 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36718 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07768 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24178 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.06532 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6045 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15516 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01397 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02711 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00759 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01974 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06337 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06241 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.17782 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06737 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 110.75588 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07183 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07523 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.11021 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.49398 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07401 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15294 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26317 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13811 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15903 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02605 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01423 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43825 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 150.5822 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.09138 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 395.67793 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17269 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.16341 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24082 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.62838 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04813 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04392 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07512 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1331 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57902 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.22736 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56937 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.46241 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01974 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56325 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 160.3513 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19686 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 447.97712 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03691 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0496 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.5818 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05329 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.49813 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.92441 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.9329 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24034 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.41761 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.14229 Zimbabwe dollar

Agriculture and the inadequacy of financial inclusion

When we analyzed what ailed Philippine agriculture, then citing a problem thus far still unaddressed by our crop of unqualified and inexperienced agricultural authorities who fail to appreciate the multidimensional requisites needed by the sector, we focused on the dearth of economic development caused by inadequate risk facilities. 

We cited the criticality of crop insurance, a risk mitigating element impacting not simply on the value of agricultural products but more important, on the welfare of the agricultural worker.

That problem would have been easily addressed had the newly appointed Department of Agriculture officials gotten their priorities in order and crafted amendments to the charter of the state-run agency responsible for risk insurance.

Allow us to continue to analyze agriculture’s shortcomings from the perspective of economics, investments and finance -- areas unaddressed more today than under previous administrations.

It is a cliché that among our poorest, the extremely poor in terms of both compensation and productivity are those in the agricultural sector. We cited the relative productivity and employment statistics. Nothing has changed save for loquacious talk irrigated by a flood of saliva in media.

Let us review recent economic policies operant under this administration.

On the macroeconomy, two weeks ago we learned that the monetary authorities were set to reduce the reserve requirements of financial institutions to allow an increase in the amount of money in circulation. Because the value of money is subject to supply and demand, and because the peso still wallows way below the dollar and might continue doing so, an increase in the supply of money would force the value of the peso farther down.

The upside is that foreign buyers might find our agricultural products much cheaper and should thus purchase more following the demand frontiers and elasticities of their individual markets. Unfortunately, regardless of the lower prices, specific markets can only gobble up so much. Price elasticity kicks in. Imagine a fast-food outlet offering unlimited free rice and a patron with the appetite of a starving sailor. There are limits to the amount of rice he might pig on.

The downside of a devalued peso is in the exponential increase in the prices of agricultural inputs from fertilizers and pesticides to the fuel needed to transport these. For a sector already poorly compensated and whose productivity as a ratio of GDP (gross domestic productivity) is comparatively low, a diminished peso might simply aggravate existing poverty and continuing despondence.

In the area of investments, specifically foreign direct investments in agriculture, recent policies from the outfield impact directly on agricultural productivity where these shift opportunities away from agricultural development and instead fatten corporate profits. The imminent lifting of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) ban on open pit mining will see huge tracts of land carved out, poisoned with acid, cyanide and other toxins, creating a toxic chemistry of effluents flowing on to fishing waters, albeit fattening the purses of foreign Ferengis and domestic businessmen.

Even with media’s microphones constantly in the faces of our agricultural authorities, on these there’s hardly an audible peep.

Matters worsen when we discern developments in the area of critical financial inclusion.

Economic exclusion began with the imposition of prohibitive capitalization requirements imposed by the Basel accords on rural banks, the principal conduits for agricultural lending. Unable to recapitalize many either shut down, merged or sold out to pedigreed universal banks whose more risk-averse credit policies and documentation processes basically disenfranchise the agricultural sector, forcing farmers and fisher folk into high-risk informal lenders.

Exclusion increased when the government allowed foreign financial institutions into the rural banking industry where many of the latter, strangled by compliance and capitalization requisites, simply sell out.

To make matters worse, the inadequacy of financial inclusion is catalyzed by the lightest penalties imposed on the failure to extend requisite agricultural credit. 

Following the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2010, a credit quota requires banks to allocate at least 10 percent of total loanable funds to agrarian reform beneficiaries, and 15 percent to farmers and fisherfolk. Unfortunately the data shows only rural and cooperative banks met the required levels allotting to agrarian reform a mere P8.26 billion. The larger banks and the rest of the rural financial institutions would rather pay the light penalties than take on agricultural receivables.

All these remain essentially unaddressed -- a sad commentary on both our officials’ competence and their lost priorities.
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