September 21, 2017, 9:25 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07179 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.17553 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03474 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33168 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02434 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03495 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03909 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.57584 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03196 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00736 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.8794 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01955 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02626 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13468 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06076 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01955 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.25293 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19814 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 391.32134 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03905 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02381 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.19703 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12797 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 56.56763 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.20407 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01955 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.80414 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42683 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.47146 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12175 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92005 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.16386 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25592 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3448 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45563 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01636 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0398 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0144 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01438 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08637 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.87373 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 174.19859 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14252 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.99648 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15278 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45582 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12205 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.20133 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.05786 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 258.65911 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06872 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.25233 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.81079 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 654.02658 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.07584 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.54613 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01384 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.17369 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.00743 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.34064 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.2025 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.08053 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.59187 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.0045 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00588 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01603 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.62568 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 161.53245 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.42533 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.98769 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.27717 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25762 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05959 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01213 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02655 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18266 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34275 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.00176 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.48554 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 47.84988 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15735 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.05629 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65031 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30336 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.99922 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34428 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08176 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25704 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.88038 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5933 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15326 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99961 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02667 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00752 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01955 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06351 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06226 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.05629 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06996 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 110.44762 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07117 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07527 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.12619 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.18804 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0733 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15296 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26388 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13018 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15555 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02627 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0144 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43405 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 146.59891 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.88741 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 400.87765 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17103 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.06607 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25709 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64621 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04766 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04368 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06714 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13149 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58751 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.66693 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51173 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 70.19156 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01955 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56626 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 157.93589 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19498 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 444.15559 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06353 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04908 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.72635 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05278 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.62119 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.9398 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.88468 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25718 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 101.43667 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.07389 Zimbabwe dollar

Putting money where the mouth is

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno has announced that the Duterte administration will be submitting its budget proposal to Congress on the day of the State of the Nation Address, which is a good thing. The 2018 National Expenditure Program (NEP) or the Executive branch’s proposed budget, is in many ways the administration’s first budget that can be attributed completely to their work; after all, there was very little time to change the 2017 NEP, except for the big items like the confidential intelligence fund of the Office of the President, among a few.

Given how complicated the government budget can be, submitting it as early as humanly possible (budget season is a detestable time in many a bureaucrat’s life) means legislators and citizens have more time to scrutinize the thousands of items and corresponding amounts (and raise a howl, if need be) to see how the administration intends to spend the people’s money.

There are several things that can test a government’s commitment to its verbal policies: one is whether it issues an executive or administrative order to put in place measures to support or implement a particular policy. Two, if the policy requires a change in our laws, then the administration can craft its own legislative proposal and submit it as priority bill to Congress, and better, certify it as urgent. Certification powers, of course, is often used sparingly by presidents to conserve political capital with a separate and co-equal branch of government.

Lastly, a test of seriousness can also be seen from the funding an administration allocates to a certain project or program. As we all know, officials can crow incessantly and sprout motherhood statements about popular issues but what matters is that they put funding to make things happen. You’ve only to review the hundreds of unfunded laws whose implementation never got off the ground to see the importance of financial support for any governmental action.

So far the initial information released by DBM indicates increases in most areas, with economic services taking most of the pie (contrasted with 2016, where social services took the lion’s share.) Infrastructure also has the second highest share of the budget, consistent with the launch of the Build! Build! Build! program of the administration. Unfortunately the defense sector has gotten less than a 5% increase, but until the actual NEP is released, we won’t know if it will translate to less funding for the AFP modernization program.

If we go by President Duterte’s words, the drug war is the first (and only, it seems) priority of the administration. Whatever other unannounced priorities there may be can hopefully be found as funded projects in the NEP, such as housing for soldiers, funding to meet the yearly increase in demand for classrooms, scholarship programs, and the like.

It will also be interesting to see if the Duterte administration will retain performance-based budgeting that was started under the previous dispensation. Performance-based budgeting essentially forces the departments to commit to targets and goals, in exchange for the proposed budget they are requesting. It also allows citizens to hold departments accountable to these key indicators, and is basis to call them out for their performance should they fall short of the goals that they set for themselves.

Should they deviate from a performance-based budget, it would also be interesting to see what kind of budget framework they will adopt. To each his own, of course, and I hope any new system adopted will aid citizens not just with understanding the budget better, but to have a more defined approach in holding public servants accountable for their work.

Of course, budget season is also an opportunity for lawmakers to call out cabinet secretaries and agency heads on issues regarding program implementation or the wisdom of continuing or expanding a particular program. Hopefully this season will not be any different from past years, when legislators took their oversight functions seriously. It also gives the public a better perspective of how policy is crafted and implemented, as well as insight on the dynamics between the two branches. I, for one, look forward to vigorous debate between members of the legislative and executive branches, lest the former be accused of being subordinate to the latter, owing to the supermajority held by the current administration. One can hope, can he not?
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‘Walk away if you want to. It’s okay if you need to.’