April 27, 2018, 12:40 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07067 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04214 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03425 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.39475 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02545 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03425 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03848 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.61997 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03093 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00725 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.69213 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01924 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02511 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13181 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06731 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01924 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27622 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18873 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 385.22224 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03844 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02475 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01901 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.59746 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12188 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.13893 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.81297 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01924 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.75101 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.40451 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.40254 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11828 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95228 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20275 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24835 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33981 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52376 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01587 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03935 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01378 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01381 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08579 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89994 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 173.19607 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14116 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.98422 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15097 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45338 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11771 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2411 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.96671 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 267.13488 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06892 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28763 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.78237 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 808.15854 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.95209 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.37271 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01363 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.10216 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.92419 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.32033 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 77.1599 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.74909 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.31768 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.73446 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00578 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01578 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.31441 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 159.45738 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.95901 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.03079 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.52088 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23908 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05866 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01194 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02571 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17834 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3172 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.97229 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.57245 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.98807 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15549 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.79238 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64845 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2996 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.77275 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36266 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07533 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.239 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.90783 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5965 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15376 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.05118 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02719 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0074 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01924 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06226 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06253 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.22244 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06713 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.81739 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07004 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07398 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.20728 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.27497 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07215 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15075 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25842 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34734 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1666 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02553 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01378 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42728 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 150.08659 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.83317 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 389.09177 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16837 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.90918 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23902 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60785 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04673 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04257 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07818 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57066 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.7945 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.50356 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.29113 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01924 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54531 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 155.05099 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1284.77966 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 438.02193 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04753 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04934 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.40485 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05195 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.40485 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.88359 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.80854 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23908 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 99.85568 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.96363 Zimbabwe dollar

The bearish blight of BPOs

Foreign investments in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, once the brightest among the sunrise sectors of the Philippine economy, seem to have momentarily fallen behind a dark cloud under the Duterte administration. BPO investors have recently turned bearish.

Since we continue to trail in attracting foreign direct investments (FDI) relative to the successes of our Asian neighbors and peers who’ve forged far ahead, a blight in BPO investments, however slight or temporary behooves an analysis.

The BPO industry, after labor exports, has long been cited as the singular domestic industry keeping the economy afloat along several socio-economic aspects all critical to a bureaucracy that has failed to provide sustained employment. 
BPO was the quick fix.

For one, the start-up capital and ease of entry requirements for BPO investors are relatively less demanding than those for capital-intensive industries. At low to medium capital investments, inordinate profits are earned by investors albeit often unlinked to GDP growth. BPO investments were at periods of either low or moderate GDP as the former surpassed the latter surging by over 2.5 percent against GDP’s best growth figures.

For another, the infrastructure required, at least in our major urban centers, is available, albeit moderately provided as telecommunications, transportation and power facilities could still stand improvement.

A third aspect, the diversity of BPO variants -- from directory assistance to telemarketing and order-taking telephony for pizza deliveries, to medical and legal transcription -- offers the domestic job market and the decidedly overqualified Filipino college graduate fallback options that ensure contractual employment at the very least. 

Note the contribution to gross domestic productivity of the services sector in which the BPO industry is tucked under. While it does not help in our industrialization endeavor, the industry provides the otherwise underemployed college graduate some disposable income that leads to consumerism and household consumption -- both critical addends of the GDP expense formula. 

Global developments and domestic variables, both political and economic, however compel us to seriously review the BPO data as international investors in the industry seem to be slackening off.

There are three kinds of data of varying degrees of credibility to chew on.

The Philippine Statistics Authority measured a dramatic 34.07 percent fall in investment pledges in information and communications technology of which the BPO sector is an integral component. Comparing first quarter data between 2017 and 2016 the decline in peso terms amounts to over P2.16 billion.

While their data includes both the first and second quarters of 2017 arrayed against similar benchmarks in 2016, a major daily, quoting from unnamed sources, reported a 34.96 percent fall in investments in the broad information technology-business process management sector from January to May of 2017. Not only does this zero-in on the BPO sector but it mirrors the official data for the first quarter and shows a deepening of the bearish sentiments.

The third substantiates the first two and is perhaps the most incisive as it stems from informed analysis.

The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines fears that a toxic chemistry of predatory fiscal proposals which include reneging on investment incentives while slapping prohibitive taxes on the industry would “ impact, in an irreversible way, decisions to remain, expand or set up new companies in the country.” For investors facing a politically temperamental dispensation, given the superior incentives granted elsewhere and the downsides of heavy-handed taxation that eat into thinning profits, these could indeed be game changers.

In seeking causes for the drastic 35 percent decline in investor interest it would be tempting to blame political realities posed by American BPO contractors who account for 64.7 percent given the thrust of the United States to repatriate jobs and reduce their dependence and vulnerability to volatile external providers. 

Where volatility is critical for the US BPO contractor, our current foreign policy pronouncements, in a hypocritical drive to ingratiate ourselves with those who would violate our territorial rights, does little to assure longtime partners and our principal source of FDIs that our highest officials are steadfast, stable or, at the very least, predictably sane. 

The manic depressive mix of acerbic aversion for American capital against allegiant blabber favoring an expansionist communist and characteristically military juggernaut is not reassuring. In fact the flow of capital between the Philippines and a bullying China has worsened.

The feared “America First” policies of the Trump administration cannot be the immediate impetus behind the bearish mood of BPO investors. Not yet at least. The economic priorities of the Trump administration are healthcare, tax reform and an encompassing focus on American jobs of the industrial and sustainable kind. The virtual repatriation of overseas BPO jobs was neither a campaign theme nor is it likely to be on a priority “To Do” list.

The ominous shadows cast on the Philippine BPO industry are homegrown. Bearishness stems from fears of prohibitive tax costs attributable to the myopic view of a Keynesian dispensation that thinks high taxes stimulate an economy. Unfortunately in the case of BPOs inordinate taxes may inadvertently slaughter the goose that lays the golden eggs.
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