May 27, 2018, 1:55 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06987 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04394 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03405 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46707 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02507 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03386 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03804 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.58684 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03178 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00718 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.30759 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02521 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13049 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06941 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2997 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18862 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 380.82557 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.038 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02456 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01888 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.92087 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1215 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.23245 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.69241 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.79018 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41871 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.37645 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12092 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.9416 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20987 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25394 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33993 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51779 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01623 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03907 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01422 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01425 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08823 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89024 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 171.23835 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13955 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.93875 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14924 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45305 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11993 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23264 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.18261 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 268.49914 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06761 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28921 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.52235 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 800.64676 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.00476 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.38368 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01348 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08195 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.91839 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2975 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 77.23036 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.96595 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.12003 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.46376 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00575 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0156 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.24805 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 158.41735 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.6285 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.00552 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.59102 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23569 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05799 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0118 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02586 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18008 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31929 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.99391 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.77516 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.76412 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15373 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.73388 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65627 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29618 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.63553 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37196 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07566 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23683 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.82899 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59717 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15404 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06962 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02745 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00732 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0621 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06201 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19897 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06975 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 108.10348 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06924 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0751 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.17631 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.13468 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07134 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15092 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25547 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34155 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16566 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02546 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01422 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42241 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.32471 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.69051 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 397.78391 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16644 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.79608 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23678 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60662 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0483 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04363 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08961 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1286 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56886 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.27563 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49705 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.0291 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5933 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 151.83565 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1494.25528 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 433.30797 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03595 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04914 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.63667 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05136 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.63667 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.926 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.75366 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23681 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 98.716 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.88415 Zimbabwe dollar

Cigarettes, solons and carcinogens

It isn’t that our lawmakers do not know how to count. There are signs some do. Scandals show they can be so exceptionally gifted when an amount involves millions in pork barrel allocations.

Private lobby money, when introduced into the legislative process likewise catalyzes arithmetical abilities. Beyond the intellectual capacities of a solon, lobbyists can fill in the gaps.

The politics of addition turns into mathematics and solons can quickly crunch factorials and infinite numbers. Their cranial facility expands and fills in previously hollow echo chambers. Eyes glow when peso signs and plus ultras prefix numbers. Addition is quickly replaced by multiplication and its inverse, division, becomes the least useful operation.

And it isn’t just money. Solons can multiply an electoral count beyond  a finite number of voters. 

Note also their use of exponents. Gerrymandering, the dismemberment of congressional districts, creates larger bureaucracies multiplying redundant costs, expenses and, yes, pork barrel allocations.

There is one number, however, a lawmaker’s mind cannot seem to grasp. It is 150,000. 

150,000 is larger than 747, the number of deaths from the Ondoy calamity that had cost P23 billion. 

150,000 is larger than 6,300, the government’s maximum count of fatalities from the Yolanda crisis. 

150,000 is over a hundred times larger than 1,144, the number killed in Marawi whose cost now exceeds P 3 billion. 

From these crises, the fatalities total 8,191.

Match that against 150,000, the number of Filipinos who die from tobacco-related diseases yearly. That’s Ondoy, Yolanda and Marawi inflicted 18 times a year.

Now let’s count the costs of smoking. One published estimate of the yearly cost to the Philippine economy is P400,000,000,000,000.  Indulge us the long form to emphasize the number of zeroes. For lawmakers who cannot count to 16 with 10r ten fingers, that’s P400 billion. 

While it is not a rule of thumb, historically the costs relative to the revenues earned are, at least, 520 percent higher. Since total revenues are determinable from sectoral data on taxes paid by the industry, ceteris paribus, historical ratios allow us to compute for the costs. 

Another method is to count the individual costs of the fatal diseases directly attributable to smoking. From simply four -- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart attack, stroke and lung cancer -- the attributable costs totaled as much as P210 billion in 2016. Add the 42 other diseases smoking directly causes and the total cost can reach from P 400 billion to P1 trillion.

These are not unaudited numbers like lobby money spent on solons who deliberately disregarded deadly costs and thumbed down incremental taxes on tobacco.

Inversely the billions the economy spends against the taxes paid by the tobacco companies are not imaginary numbers. These measure the greed of those who legislate into their pockets, allotting pork barrel funds that steal away from legitimate uses. 

The billions the economy spends to medicate a carcinogen-consuming public and fund tobacco companies who pay less taxes than are spent by those stricken ill and die are real. As real as the majority of lawmakers opting to increase the taxes on multipliers that bloat inflation for Filipinos already victimized by the high costs of simply subsisting.

Their myopia is incredible. How difficult is it to understand that increasing excise taxes on tobacco, while increasing tax revenues, does not reduce the peso’s purchasing power as do the other taxes solons propose?

Where both chambers passed their own tax reform bills sans provisions on tobacco excise taxes, the bovine scatophilia involved bears reviewing given a bicameral conference this week.

One proponent of the tax reform bill simply said the reason his committee deliberately kept the issue of excise taxes on tobacco products out was he lacked people to look into it, himself already preoccupied chairing two separate legislative committees. Never mind that think tanks have offered their independent expertise and research pro bono.

His committee employs at least 50 plus an unknown number of consultants. As a reference, Berkshire Hathaway, a $329-billion company, only has 25 in its office staff. 

One solon suggested the matter of tobacco excises might be taken up in 2018.

He could have fertilized a whole field grazing with bulls with that excuse. The 2018 congressional calendar is focused on three - - Federalism that concentrates power and funds on local politicos, the impeachment of officers in the last remaining bastions of our threatened democracy and the midterm local elections that perpetuate political positions.

Like smoking, these spawn fatal cancers.
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