October 22, 2017, 9:43 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07128 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.18168 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0346 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33849 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02474 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03455 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03882 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.59705 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03208 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00732 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.78397 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01941 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02639 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13315 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06146 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01941 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26213 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20042 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 388.58696 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03878 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02429 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01906 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.12442 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1285 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 56.61879 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.99029 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01941 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.81172 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42217 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.44992 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12229 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.91751 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21396 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25699 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34161 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52232 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01642 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03984 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01474 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01481 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08518 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.91421 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 174.2236 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14253 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.96933 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15143 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45421 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12329 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.19002 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.04988 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 262.46118 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06762 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26145 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.63199 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 665.74146 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03707 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.46487 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01373 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19732 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.00019 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.33191 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 78.26087 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.11083 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.46894 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.96991 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00585 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01592 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.49204 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 160.69488 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.21972 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.98137 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.29173 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26378 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05918 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01204 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02652 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18258 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33463 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.00621 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.37811 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 47.47671 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15597 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.84045 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65703 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30221 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.90062 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36633 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08199 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26335 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.8323 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58773 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15441 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0099 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02778 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00746 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01941 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06268 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06206 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03901 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06957 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 109.45264 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07337 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0755 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.11374 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.1349 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07279 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15088 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26054 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12926 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15816 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0264 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01475 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43102 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 147.90373 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.81134 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 402.56018 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16984 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.99573 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26335 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64344 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04808 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04338 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07108 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12963 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58637 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.42003 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51417 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 70.78804 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01941 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5722 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 155.95885 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1936 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 440.93556 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02426 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04922 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.76747 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05241 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.69488 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.94759 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.85151 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26339 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 100.72787 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.02446 Zimbabwe dollar

Iceland’s resilient independence

REYKJAVIK, Iceland - Iceland is a fantastically resilient nation literally forged in fire and ice, and hardened into jagged rock and burned black lava. The landscape is unearthly. Within an hour it can be windblown and gusty, scorched by the sun and drenched by freezing rain all in one place. Its mountains are capped by pristine glaciers slowly cascading down magnificent crisscrossing waterfalls that cut through the great continental crack separating the Eurasian tectonic plates from the North American. Here, trees are sparse, replaced by gigantic boulders of hardened lava with thin coats of green and white moss. The rock-scape is interrupted only where powerful geysers break through spewing skyscraper-high fountains of steam from bedrock pockmarked by huge craters of bubbling and boiling earth and mud.

Iceland is perhaps the most beautiful island nation created when time began by nature’s most violent forces.

Its people, descended from the Vikings, are likewise, but they are today blessed with extraordinary warmth and pleasantness. While fundamentally resilient as are Filipinos, in some ways Icelanders did not descend into apathetic callousness. They have found a way to resurrect, learn, and, avoid undisciplined, incessant and repetitive self-inflicted folly.

They are survivors albeit victims of greed and politics as are we. If Filipinos can be described as resilient bamboo reeds, today’s Icelanders are metaphorically magnificent Viking Ulfberht swords -- sharp and hardened -- hammered from the 2008 global financial crisis that saw Iceland fall from the weight of its national debt, and then desperately seeking bankruptcy relief.

The Icelanders are, however, not the only phoenixes resurrected from modern day folly. Had partisan politics not brazenly interfered and then quickly supplanted by military adventurism and martial law where parliaments and judiciaries might characteristically be rubber stamps, Thailand’s economic recovery might have been more productive. 

It’s been a decade since Bangkok in July, 1997. The then Thai economy succumbed to attacks from marauding currency speculators as well as imploded from humongous debt hinged on artificially propped baht values consistent with the Asian miracle at the time. 

After a devastating crash that quickly travelled to as far away as Argentina Thailand’s creditors went to work. Their default palliative was a cocktail of fiscal impositions mixed with additional credit -- a prescription that has yet to work on its own through repeated applications in other economies from Iceland to Greece.

The Thais were forced to contract even more debt made exponentially expensive after 1997 by a hollowed out baht. Given the Thai economy is a Philippine doppelgänger, curiously the baht has not only recovered but is now stronger than the peso. Simply track its steep rise relative to the peso in the last 180 days. Mysteriously, as the US dollar rationalized, all other currencies strengthened save for the Philippine peso.

Encounters with Thai businessmen, whether a tuk-tuk operator or an investment banker, reveal their secret. Thais washed their bitter medicine down with mega-doses of hard work. Imagine how much more they might have achieved had they not fallen into the toxic pit of martial law.

Iceland’s experience is even more awe-inspiring. Declaring bankruptcy after investing heavily in collateralized debt obligations (CDO) largely comprised of the US midwestern debts pooled by American investment bankers from toxic assets and marketed to economies as Iceland’s, the eventual crash in CDO values left Iceland in tatters.

Investment banking spawned from private banking that financed Iceland’s fishing fleets exposed Iceland to globalization. Succumbing to imported asset-backed securities was a one-off mistake. The country is fiercely independent and since 2008 Icelanders rediscovered they should never be beholden to anyone.

Determined to get out of a rut, Icelanders worked hard, raised taxes and prices on everything, assured these had real value to consumers and, to the extent possible, ensured products and services were all local. 

Independence is at the core of Iceland’s resilience, especially critical because of their harsh but majestic environment. Vegetables and fruits are grown in greenhouses due to the thin layer of soil and sparseness of trees. Underneath are molten rock so water comes from mountaintop glaciers. Thus Icelanders are fiercely protective against pollution and global warming. So there are no fossil-fired power plants.

Fishing is their principal industry so the Icelanders recognize the criticality of keeping surrounding waters clean.

Iceland’s youth continues to pay for previous mistakes but they accept the necessity of the highest taxes on the planet. VAT is 24 percent. Personal ITR, up to 46.30 percent. Rather than whine they aggressively boost the economy by secretly working as early as 15  to propel consumerism and ensure jobs remain local. Iceland’s 15 to 24-year old unemployment rate is 7.1 percent. Its total unemployed is amazingly 2.4 percent. 

On trade and industry, Icelanders take it seriously that both labor and goods are totally Icelandic thus avoiding forex exposures and the predatory kindness of strangers.

Exemplified through Halldor Laxness’s 1955 Nobel prize-winning book “Independent People” on the story of Bjartur, an Icelandic shepherd and his daughter, each struggling to be un-beholden, Iceland’s is not resilience based on a lazy happiness index, surrender or undisciplined albeit contented complacency. There is neither learning nor growth from those. Laxness wrote, “The history of the centuries is the history of an independent man who grapples with a spectre which bears a new and ever newer name.” Iceland’s amazing resilience is based on independence, discipline, true-grit and hard work.
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Column of the Day

Finally, better airports

By DAHLI ASPILLERA | October 23,2017
‘Eight provincial airports being readied for night operations; to improve air travel, and help decongest NAIA. – Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr.’

Opinion of the Day

Who speaks for whom?

By JOSE BAYANI BAYLON | October 23, 2017
‘Let the people of Manicani speak for themselves and let the rest of us respect their wishes whatever that may be.’