December 11, 2017, 7:29 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07278 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.24757 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03528 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3421 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02639 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03528 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03964 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.63231 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03302 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00747 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.69217 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01982 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02679 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13598 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06524 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01982 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27948 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20552 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 396.82854 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0396 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0255 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01967 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.99108 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13122 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 59.62339 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.156 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01982 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.85788 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43044 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.50505 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12534 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94034 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.28612 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26346 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35183 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53538 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01684 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04147 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01479 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01479 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08907 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93459 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 178.43409 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14546 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.01804 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1547 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46587 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12671 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24044 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.28662 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 268.48364 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06983 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27788 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.46878 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 701.16946 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06938 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.47374 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01402 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.24961 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04063 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.38206 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.68285 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.28543 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.83944 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.63231 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00598 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01625 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.6333 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 164.81665 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.84143 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.03469 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.47968 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27056 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06043 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0123 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02704 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18759 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34103 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.03171 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.9772 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.22597 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15934 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.97721 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.67096 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30426 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.14153 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37538 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08101 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27055 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.11596 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60852 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16439 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04432 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02898 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00763 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01982 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06409 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06435 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.09514 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07069 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.87314 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07216 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07797 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.17163 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.55857 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07433 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15331 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26983 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13201 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16747 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0268 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0148 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44016 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 151.23885 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.08028 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 412.8087 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17344 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.20773 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27056 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64618 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04946 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04551 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07598 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13358 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59489 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.28147 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53697 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.63528 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01982 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57542 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 160.35679 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19772 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 450.12883 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.12071 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05137 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 11.04004 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05352 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 11.53221 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.00932 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.95441 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27055 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.86422 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.17344 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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