November 25, 2017, 3:43 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07254 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.22066 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03521 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34299 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02592 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03516 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03951 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.60589 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03253 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00746 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.51185 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01976 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02656 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13552 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06373 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01976 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27914 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20568 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 395.49586 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03947 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0251 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01934 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.5162 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13038 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 58.75346 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.09502 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01976 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.82714 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42146 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.5079 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12329 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94607 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.26118 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25918 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34868 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53457 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01656 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04139 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01481 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01481 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.09104 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92967 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 177.69657 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1449 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.07922 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15426 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46501 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12517 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.22145 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.16041 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 266.6535 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0693 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27625 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.03437 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 696.06876 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03813 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.47234 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01397 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20192 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03576 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.37669 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.67207 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.28586 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.77953 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.38305 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00596 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0162 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.52213 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 164.26314 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.7906 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.03635 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.46247 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27292 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06023 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01226 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02699 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18541 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34526 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.01442 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.92612 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.20229 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15888 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.91426 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.68451 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30047 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.14757 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36633 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0813 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27483 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.03279 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60352 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16042 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04563 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02867 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0076 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01976 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06392 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06337 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.07685 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0697 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.98933 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07516 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07679 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.15428 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.47807 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07408 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15686 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26162 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13157 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16365 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02658 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01482 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43868 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 150.13829 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.00356 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 406.44806 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17286 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.17345 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27485 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6448 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04877 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04522 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07781 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13097 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5918 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.15251 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53121 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.55275 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01976 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57349 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 159.22561 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19705 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 448.93324 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.09581 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05077 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.85875 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05334 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.88937 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.96543 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.93678 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27485 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.51877 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.14935 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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