July 23, 2018, 9:28 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06891 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99812 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03452 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51726 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02526 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0334 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03752 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.57017 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03144 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00709 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 32.85141 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01876 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02546 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12871 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07076 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01876 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.29362 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19433 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 375.60976 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03748 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02466 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01861 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.39231 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12694 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 53.79925 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.56379 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01876 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.76454 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41373 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.33021 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11925 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92946 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.2063 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2502 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3349 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51238 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01599 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03929 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01427 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0143 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08965 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.8925 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 169.1182 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14047 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.89268 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14725 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44908 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11833 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26435 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.20544 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 271.57598 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06798 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28997 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.32645 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 817.63602 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99062 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.44371 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01329 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.09036 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.88462 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27979 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 75.96623 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.86454 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 16.88555 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.13321 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00568 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01538 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.50019 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 157.69231 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.24578 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.99906 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.82176 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25122 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0572 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01164 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02582 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17712 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31191 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.98124 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.07317 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.94747 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15166 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.66041 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64259 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29212 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.38537 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35681 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07617 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25131 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.73546 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58799 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1534 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06473 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02754 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00721 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01876 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06142 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06111 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.40338 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06911 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 107.46904 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06831 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07438 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.1907 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.006 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07036 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14815 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25182 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33678 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16626 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02554 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01428 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41662 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 157.41088 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.69418 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 392.12008 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16417 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.66191 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25104 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.62495 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04951 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0442 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0899 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12621 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57388 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 42.58912 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49568 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 70.09381 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01876 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58555 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 145.53471 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 2245.77861 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 432.49531 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06942 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04922 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.49099 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05066 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.49099 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.90938 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.68762 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25122 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 97.36398 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.78987 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

Towards a leaner government

Jose Bayani Baylon's picture
By JOSE BAYANI BAYLON | July 23,2018
‘The more citizens get involved reading and discussing drafts of a new Constitution for the Philippines, and the more drafts are presented, the better the future of the Republic will be!’

Opinion of the Day

Again, on solid waste management

Dahli Aspillera's picture
By DAHLI ASPILLERA | July 23, 2018
“The sea sent back the trash from land as if to remind everyone, rich and poor, that whatever we improperly dispose of, will return and haunt us.”