March 26, 2017, 2:24 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07295 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.48788 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03556 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3095 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02607 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03556 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03973 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.59217 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03602 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00747 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.62574 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01986 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02782 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13667 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06237 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01986 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30066 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20198 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 397.69567 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03968 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02656 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 13.15634 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13692 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 57.86254 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.93802 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01986 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03496 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49851 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.5151 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13724 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93127 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.1644 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.28863 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35856 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45093 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01845 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04108 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01589 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01592 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08837 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.86869 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 183.55185 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1458 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.10191 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1543 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46583 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13612 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.34644 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.70143 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 264.73977 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07242 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.29991 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.46047 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 644.02066 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20501 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.54927 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01405 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21154 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04112 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.37288 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 78.68693 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 9.14978 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.87843 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.29479 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00604 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01629 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.28526 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 163.01152 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.90465 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.01549 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 1.78784 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24851 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06056 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01233 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02811 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19785 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.38468 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.12515 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.19507 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.70878 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15892 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.09178 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.69785 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30671 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.24096 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3761 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08802 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24708 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.25745 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58244 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16898 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0729 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02831 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00765 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01986 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06437 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06286 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08244 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0787 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.14024 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07233 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08402 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.13951 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.2352 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07449 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15454 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26917 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13244 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17566 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02783 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0159 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44112 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 142.70957 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.90584 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 452.14739 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17327 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.23004 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24791 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.68872 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04503 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04577 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0722 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13328 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60552 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.25904 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53754 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.25546 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01986 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.55781 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 70.42114 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19815 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 451.90703 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11462 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05075 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 12.09416 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05364 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 12.176 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.18852 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.96524 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24804 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 103.08899 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.18911 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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