February 19, 2018, 11:47 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07035 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03736 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0341 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37852 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02417 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0341 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03831 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.58755 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03006 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00722 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.54368 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02532 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13142 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06189 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.22893 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18046 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 383.5249 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03827 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02404 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01774 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.3659 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12153 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.27203 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.83966 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.70268 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.39128 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.38755 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.115 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93544 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.16856 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24138 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33716 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52165 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01543 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03813 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01366 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01366 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08656 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89866 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 172.37548 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14054 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.9364 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14982 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45019 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11447 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.21437 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.80326 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 259.67432 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06787 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23063 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.68199 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 709.84673 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.91667 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.39444 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01355 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03307 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.93774 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30544 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 76.53257 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.57567 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.24138 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.41552 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00573 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01571 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.12088 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 158.62069 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.83908 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.97165 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.44272 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22308 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0584 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01189 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02534 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17539 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31734 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.9454 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.42146 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.82375 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15425 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.68582 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61303 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29828 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.66743 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35467 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07454 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22274 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.87739 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59195 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14901 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 1.96697 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02593 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00737 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06225 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06025 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11398 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0642 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.68774 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06973 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07198 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.08044 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.10153 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07184 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14875 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25546 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34393 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15255 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02511 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01367 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4254 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 146.16858 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.76628 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 378.35439 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16762 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.86552 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22276 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59923 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04546 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04238 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07167 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12904 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.55669 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.02682 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51715 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 69.38697 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54521 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 156.47509 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 477.73945 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 434.75095 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01916 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04802 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.11303 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05172 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.11303 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.81628 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.78831 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22279 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 99.41571 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.93295 Zimbabwe dollar

Regulating the electricity value chain

For many, it was long overdue. The dysfunctionalities at the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) had for too long gone essentially unaddressed even as the accusations of regulatory impropriety within its ranks had gotten worse in inverse proportion to the headlines they created. Perhaps it was a function of public exasperation with a body that seemed unable to do anything right.

In Congress, during the deliberations on the budget of the ERC, it was proposed that the agency’s budget for the coming fiscal be reduced to P1,000.  The message was as clear as day. The slash was punitive. But was the punishment the right penalty? And did it address whatever it is the ERC had for some time been doing wrong?

For the public, afflicted with short memories and a serious propensity to focus only on the simplest sound bytes, few controversies involving the ERC merit seriously rethinking its existence. More so for an agency that is actually more powerful than the Department of Energy from whose ribcage the ERC was taken.

People might remember the investigations on collusion with a distribution utility (DU) way back in December of 2013 when power tariffs suddenly spiked as sources from the Malampaya gas fields went offline and the DU started purchasing power from more expensive generators at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.

Under the Duterte administration, people might remember a sordid story of suicide following controversies on the bidding of an audio-visual project within the ERC. Suspensions were meted out in that controversy. Later instances of insubordination between the Palace and certain ERC officials filled page two of a few broadsheets.

Recently, some sectors blasted the ERC when it authorized negotiated purchases with high cost generators sans open and public bidding.

It is unfortunate that the history of ERC controversies remain largely unresolved, especially where these have systemic negative impacts on the cost of power. Curiously, for the most of these, the controversies involve another equally powerful entity, this time a listed private icon critical to any business enterprise in Luzon. 

The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) exists on the basis of its congressional franchise. Within its DNA, the company has virtual political influences which it has been known to exercise both by virtue of being a monopoly in the franchise area awarded it, and by the sheer size of the corporation itself. 

As a listed company, it is answerable to three basic authorities that do not often agree with one another. First is the franchise-giver which is Congress. The second is the market served by the company. And last, as a corporation, Meralco is answerable to its shareholders.

As a corporation the measures of performance are classic textbook indicators. It seeks to maximize shareholder value and returns on investment. It increases revenues to fatten bottom lines and build up for future fixed asset development and expansion. On these, the company has been exceptionally successful.

As a DU, and a franchise at that, the company operates under given limitations, one of which is the requirement that it source power from “least cost” providers.

By analyzing the importance that Meralco plays in the electricity value chain that the ERC regulates we can appreciate the frustration of Congress that led it to punish the ERC with measures that practically abolish it.

For one, the services provided by Meralco account for what may possibly be the largest operating expense item in the income statement of almost any business enterprise covered by Meralco’s franchise.

Indulge us some simplicity. Meralco distributes the electrons passed on from those who generate it and those who transmit it. The entities who generate lie largely unregulated while those who transmit and those who distribute have to pass through the ERC. Keeping in mind the concept of regulatory capture, this simple analysis of the electricity value chain shows were margins are unregulated and can therefore be the widest relative to regulated viabilities. This also shows why any links among generators, transmission companies and the DUs should be separate and distinct. More important, it shows why collusion and connivance create conspiracies where profits shift around through effective but hidden transfer pricing protocols and therefore pass easily up and down the chain.

Because regulation plays a critical role in delineating both functions and financials in the value chain,  we can see where the ERC might be remiss should it allow negotiated and un-challenged contractual relationships among different entities in the value chain, specifically between a virtual monopoly like Meralco and its unregulated generators. Moreover, regulation rather than negotiation becomes increasingly critical given the tariffs paid by the public for the energy provided by each player in the electricity value chain.

What controversies envelope the ERC recently are questions of both market power and market abuse. It is not the reported issues of over-priced audiovisual contracts, or the question of expertise and qualifications, or its lack, among its politically-appointed commissioners. It is not even about the insubordination charges leveled against its officers by the Executive Branch.

Rather, it is connivance that leads to market abuse and are akin to economic sabotage where prohibitive and unjust tariffs amounting to millions inflicted on the public result from collusion and conspiratorial greed. Since December 2013, there have been several instances of market abuse, all on the level of economic sabotage. Most are unfortunately unresolved to this day.
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