February 22, 2018, 4:53 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07045 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04297 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03415 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.38059 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02443 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03415 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03837 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.59409 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0304 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00723 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.58872 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01918 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02533 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13159 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06235 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01918 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2325 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18295 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 384.03989 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03832 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02429 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.018 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.42605 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12152 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.88202 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.87186 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01918 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.71801 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.39493 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.3921 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11601 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94226 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.17652 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24369 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33858 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52177 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01557 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03825 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01371 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01377 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08533 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89967 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 172.74122 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14073 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.9296 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15011 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45024 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11584 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.216 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.85824 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 261.23153 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06714 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24329 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.71245 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 713.12103 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.9248 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.40936 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01359 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0619 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.9413 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.3061 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 77.09572 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.62709 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.26453 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.55496 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00575 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01573 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.12565 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 158.52676 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.96605 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.97621 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.45904 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22463 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05848 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0119 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02544 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17647 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31853 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95396 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.47477 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.90946 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15451 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.71398 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.62536 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29868 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.76098 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35911 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07494 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22327 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.88663 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59477 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15035 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 1.98703 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02611 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00738 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01918 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06229 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0629 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11989 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06472 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.82716 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06982 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07256 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.0862 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.12737 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07193 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14866 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2582 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34501 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15536 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02534 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01372 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42597 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 146.36485 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.78074 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 381.75523 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16785 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.87876 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22325 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60368 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04586 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0428 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07262 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12717 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.55966 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.06541 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51746 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 69.67197 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01918 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54556 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 156.62766 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 478.3426 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 435.71839 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 1.98465 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04817 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.20986 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05179 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.20986 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.85248 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.79474 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22325 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 99.5492 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.94226 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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