September 25, 2017, 5:56 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07264 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21717 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03501 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34187 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02482 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03536 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03956 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.5979 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03249 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00745 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.31665 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02662 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13627 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0618 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27967 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20131 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 395.96518 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03951 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02438 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01919 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.36155 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13059 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 57.37935 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.30439 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.82753 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43125 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.51325 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1233 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94106 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21553 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25924 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3485 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46183 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01657 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03986 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01461 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0146 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08739 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.88588 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 176.45964 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14445 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.08406 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15453 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46127 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12375 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23398 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.13074 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 263.05379 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06919 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28145 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.08149 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 663.96359 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.1252 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.5623 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01399 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21833 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03738 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.35362 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 80.07516 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.12164 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.80063 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.34177 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00596 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01622 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.74387 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 163.94383 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.77848 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.02017 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.31408 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26167 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0603 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01227 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02675 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18458 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34721 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.01345 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.91851 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.53639 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15916 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.1521 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.66021 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30696 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.16792 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35121 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08291 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26183 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.9818 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59118 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15441 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.05301 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02722 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00761 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06415 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06309 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08386 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07081 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.78797 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07201 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07606 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.14001 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.39142 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07417 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15268 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26236 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13172 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15792 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02662 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01462 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4392 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 148.3386 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.05617 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 406.07593 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17306 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.18552 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26179 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65427 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04862 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04355 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06922 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13382 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5966 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.24446 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51938 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.10364 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57041 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 159.61234 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19728 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 449.66376 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04153 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04947 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.86234 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0534 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.74723 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.96618 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.94363 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26193 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.64043 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.15783 Zimbabwe dollar

Usury less usurious

Maybe it was another campaign promise. Let us now get rid of the 5-6 lenders. If it were a verbalized commitment, is it part of the three-fifths they say should not be taken seriously of every five too often blurted out from the presidential mouth?

The Executive command was to kill the spread of usurious lenders and effectively roll out a less predatory system of financial inclusion for those unable to access credit. Although the latter phraseology was not explicitly detailed in the prose we remember, somewhere buried in the crude and crass colloquialisms the word “usury” permeates.

Usury is a technical term. Three syllables long it encompasses complex issues from desperation to greed.  It has to do with credit as well as the abuse of credit. When the economy still had the Usury Law in effect, the word bore parameters delineating what was unconscionable against what was not.

Allow us to delve into the simplistic colloquialisms conjured that represent the popular definition of usury arrayed against the technical so that we might understand recent government initiatives ridding ourselves of it. 

This is especially important. One reason is the Duterte budget and the amount of taxpayer money within either as capital for inclusive growth or, as the previous administration’s concept of financial inclusion, a slush fund earmarked for controversial dole outs more politically motivated than developmental.

The cliche imagery of the usurious creditor is the eastern Indian national lending money to the desperate at a ratio of five is to six where for every P5 of principal, by the following day P6 is collected. 

Debtors are either too desperate, arithmetically-challenged, ignorant or plainly do not care that the nominal interest is actually 20 percent applied on a daily basis. Annualized and employing the Banker’s Rule of 360 days that’s effectively 7,200 percent.

In no universe can an interest charge of 7,200 percent be considered fair. If we pare the compounding periods down to a monthly basis the effective interest drastically falls to 240 percent. Still usurious by any standard. 

Those astronomical rates however matter little to desperate debtors. Never mind the arithmetic. The simplistic household economics is understandable where borrowers focus on cashflows instead. It is the maturity value that concerns them. Can they afford it? 

Unfortunately, under such shortcomings predatory creditors take liberties.

In contrast, loans granted by banks and financial intermediaries now charge less than 8 percent per annum and even less than half of that for prime borrowers depending on credit ratings, collateral business, securities pledged and a whole lot of other factors that operate between debtor, creditor and regulators. On these the requisite due diligence and documentation alone can easily overwhelm and effectively disenfranchise micro-, small and medium-scale borrowers from mainstream banking.

The gaps in financial inclusion are filled in by private lenders who provide expensive funds ranging from 12 percent to 15 percent. Interest reflects risk. The latter is however mitigated by a whole new set of criteria essentially skewed towards repayment. Lenders develop close relationships with borrowers albeit maintaining these ties as professional as possible. The success of this holistic approach is further enhanced by critical and aggressive collection systems that larger lenders cannot or do not engage in.

Soon in Tacloban the government will embark on an experiment hoping to kill the usurious 5-6 lending industry. The Department of Trade and Industry initially budgeted P1 billion to seed a government-sponsored funding program reportedly based on credit extended to the most needy at a monthly rate of 2 percent or 24 percent per annum.

Hopefully government has done its homework and has shed the curse of corruption and ineptitude. Note that 24 percent per annum is only a sliver below the 2.5 percent monthly interest charged on credit cards issued by global credit card companies that enjoy economies of scale.. 

Under the government program debtors charged those rates are far from prime. There lies the danger. Requisite documentation and securities likely to be foregone need to be replaced by in-depth, almost intrusive, due diligence efforts, the matching of capital with the requisites of borrowers and, perhaps most important, extremely critical and highly efficient collection systems. Unfortunately, depth and efficiency are alien concepts in the bureaucracy.

In the past 21 percent to 24 percent were once considered unconscionable although eventually these were adjudged reasonable by the Supreme Court in at least two jurisprudential instances, once in 1988 and again in 2006. While the usury laws are no longer in effect, in 2000 in a case involving a state lender, after considering the absolute amount of the principal relative to its  exponential and compound interest, the courts ordered reducing a rate of 18 percent down to 10 percent.

From the foregoing, do the math. High cost state-granted debt may still cause repayment defaults eventually inflicted on the taxpayer that provides the debt capital. Nearly double of the interest charged by small to medium scale private creditors, government’s 24 percent might still be prohibitive albeit a tad less usurious.
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