June 20, 2018, 8:52 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06897 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04526 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03404 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52113 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02544 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03343 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03756 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.57728 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03184 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00709 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 32.88225 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02522 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12883 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07009 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.277 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19573 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 375.96244 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03752 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02494 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01868 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.01146 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12169 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.86948 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.59718 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.78854 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41869 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.33333 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12088 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93052 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20053 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25367 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33502 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51117 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01621 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03897 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01426 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01425 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08833 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.87962 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 169.05164 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14052 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.88526 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14739 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44866 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1197 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23812 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.22103 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 261.46479 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06819 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27817 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.23474 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 796.99531 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.05333 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.4507 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01331 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06607 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.89577 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28255 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 75.84601 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.92488 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 16.90141 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.8492 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00568 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0154 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.40488 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 157.33333 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.26291 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.00282 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.66254 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2584 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05725 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01165 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02546 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17921 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31576 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.99324 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.69014 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.33333 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15181 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.66667 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65765 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29239 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.39812 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3853 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07515 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25797 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.74178 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59151 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15379 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0385 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0272 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00723 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06164 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06142 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.28545 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06993 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.70047 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06835 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07565 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.1966 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 15.95174 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07042 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14841 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25277 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33719 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16718 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02548 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01426 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41701 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.29577 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.57277 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 397.4216 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16432 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.67099 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25817 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61446 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04845 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04326 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08905 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12487 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56648 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 42.59155 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49596 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.33803 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59211 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 147.69953 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1498.59155 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 429.12676 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02911 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04869 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.62592 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0507 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.62592 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.92432 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.69202 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25823 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 97.4554 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.79624 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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