July 22, 2018, 1:05 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.0687 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01833 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03442 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51646 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02528 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0333 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03741 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.57108 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03151 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00707 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 32.75309 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01871 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02527 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12832 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07203 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01871 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27899 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19255 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 374.4856 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03737 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02464 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01868 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.20576 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12563 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 53.5578 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.55649 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01871 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.77142 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41506 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.32024 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11972 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93303 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19981 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25129 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33389 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51106 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01606 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03917 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01429 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01431 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08962 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.88982 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 168.66816 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14005 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.88103 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1468 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44747 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1187 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26057 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.20183 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 269.36027 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06796 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28159 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.25963 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 813.69248 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99588 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.43547 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01325 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11107 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.8771 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27484 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 75.70146 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.90311 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 16.83502 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.15413 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00566 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01534 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.4508 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 157.22035 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.15189 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.98915 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 3.00412 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24822 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05703 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01161 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02573 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17723 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31076 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.98373 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.78638 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.80995 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15122 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.64048 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64347 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29125 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.40105 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35353 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07589 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24819 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.7153 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58586 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15284 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04293 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02753 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00719 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01871 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06114 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06073 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.39618 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0692 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.97905 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06809 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07472 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.18 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 15.95267 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07015 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14747 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25122 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33483 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16573 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02554 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0143 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41538 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 153.38571 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.68088 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 393.68313 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16367 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.633 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24845 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.62252 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04952 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04351 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08966 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12587 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57159 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 42.49906 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49158 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 69.56977 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01871 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58277 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 145.09914 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 2239.05724 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 431.12608 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04265 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04883 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.52881 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05051 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.52881 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.90591 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.67265 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24818 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 97.07258 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.76955 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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