June 18, 2018, 3:46 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06887 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01763 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03375 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52595 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02519 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03338 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0375 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.56891 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03163 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00708 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 32.83293 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01875 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02508 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12845 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06994 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01875 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26852 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19282 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 375.39846 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03746 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02475 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0187 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.85955 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12072 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.23964 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.57585 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01875 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.78136 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41526 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.32833 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1203 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92481 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19301 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25282 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33377 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51078 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01616 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03862 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01411 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01411 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08774 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.8783 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 168.7418 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13756 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.86799 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14715 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44823 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11904 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.22745 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.20533 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 261.11007 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06788 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27862 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.20139 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 793.5496 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01763 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.42115 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01329 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.07454 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.89293 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28161 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 75.86537 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.83274 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 16.87605 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.66229 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00567 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01538 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.31164 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 157.15357 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.23364 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.99081 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.62835 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2522 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05717 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01164 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02542 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17853 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31382 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.9715 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.27658 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.11532 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15157 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.65667 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65479 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29196 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.37802 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.38672 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0747 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2516 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.71292 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58522 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15276 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03846 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02698 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00722 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01875 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06144 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05887 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.23233 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06922 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 105.94412 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06825 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07529 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.18378 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 15.92781 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07032 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1483 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25162 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33668 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16475 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02532 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01412 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41639 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 148.88431 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.53816 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 395.79974 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16407 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.65648 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25162 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61204 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04892 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04288 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08861 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12572 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56497 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 42.52766 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49372 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.94825 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01875 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59066 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 148.13426 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1496.34352 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 427.78924 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02025 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04811 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.58541 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05063 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.58541 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.91656 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.68498 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25181 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 97.30921 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.78605 Zimbabwe dollar

The return of tobacco taxes

Last year, when the issue of tobacco excise taxes entered the public debate within the congressional deliberations for the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), the proposal for a substantive and meaningful increase was prosecuted along two areas. One was as a health measure. The other as a substantial revenue source. Where nobler ends are the objective, it is obvious where between the two these lie. Both sides had their own advocates and champions. Anti-smoking health advocates came fully prepared. Mostly comprised of professionals from the medical community, their proposal for an incremental excise was based on a slew of multidimensional factors that each quantified the minimum level an incremental excise would affect the demand for a “sin” product whose effects resembled slow, expensive and excruciating suicide. Alongside the health “warriors,” the advocates of the excise included in their economic model the tobacco industry’s contribution to employment, its prorated contribution to the fiscal coffers, and its prospective foreign exchange earnings. Among other considerations were productivity losses from tobacco users, increased health care costs as well as tariffs and duties on inbound competitive products and lost revenues from unmitigated smuggling. That those championing the incremental increase centered on economics were substantially government agencies compared to health advocates would have an effect on the eventual outcome. Simply read up on the Philippine tobacco industry and its superpower lobby group. One easily realizes which among the advocacy groups would be most pliable. The eventual tobacco tax in TRAIN is the most eloquent example of the vulnerabilities between the two. The tax intake admittedly increased government revenues but the other side of the story from the perspective of health advocates tells of failure and an aggravated situation. We suspect that the number of Filipinos who die from tobacco-related diseases has hardly changed from 150,000 a year. Thus the objective of an incremental excise on tobacco products was to control its use and protect the public from a deadly poison. This was the way tobacco excise tax increases were packaged under former Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares when tobacco excises were first reviewed. The incremental excise proved to be successful as it had touched on usage elasticities where demand had fallen moderately. Unfortunately, when the peso had regained its purchasing power over the years, so had the impact of excises on demand diluted. The same objectives of regulating usage were declared when TRAIN was being deliberated. The disturbing reality is that what government is today against what government was, especially in the area of the common good, is as different as night is from day. The eventual excise on tobacco products under TRAIN last year is a case in point. The House version then had no intentions to increase the excise on tobacco. That was understandable. Lobbies were more effective there. Not as much at the Senate. The Senate entertained proposals to increase the tax but eventually did not include anything in their version. That would come later albeit under suspicious if not illegal circumstances. An insidious and illegal insertion was slipped in at the bicameral level for a token P2.50 per pack. As all tax measures must originate from the House of Representatives and there approved by its plenary an insertion at the bicameral committee level insidiously written-in without passing House public debate, scrutiny and ratification is illegal. Worse, the incremental tax inserted was far below the 60 percent increase calculated to reduce the number of smokers following tobacco’s price elasticities. Obviously the lawmaker who slipped in the token P2.50 tax either does not understand his economics or had an agenda pandering to vested interests. The total excise tax with the TRAIN-additive is currently P32.50 from a pre-TRAIN level of P30. When TRAIN was being deliberated last year the level of proposed excise to reduce usage was an incremental 60 percent to bring the total excise to at least P234.09, a cost prohibitive enough for elasticities to kick in and actually start reducing deadly and fatal tobacco usage. This July as Congress is set to revisit and possibly introduce more tax reforms note the scheduled increase in tobacco excise taxes. From the current P32.50 the tobacco excise is set to increase to P35 until December 2019. That’s still a far cry from the price elastic level where consumption falls significantly. The succeeding increases are similarly as anemic. From 2020 to 2021, the TRAIN-based increase will simply be an additional P2.50, and from 2022 to 2023, a token increment of another P2.50. Do the math. Compute for time values using an inflation rate of 4 percent that effectively devalued the staggered P2.50 increments. Three quarters of a decade from the P30 excise level and the effective increase remains below a third of the original desired. Far from the price elastic level of a 60 percent increase for 2018. Our lawmakers should really stop lying to us. It was never about health was it? It’s obvious they’ve surrendered to the powerful tobacco lobby.
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