April 24, 2017, 2:34 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07374 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.52309 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03569 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30873 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02664 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03594 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04016 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.60442 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03655 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00757 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.11145 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02805 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13815 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0632 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.29719 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20863 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 402.00804 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04011 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02704 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02006 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 13.04137 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13822 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 57.18876 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.03896 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06888 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5051 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.56627 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13952 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94478 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.206 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29345 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36245 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45582 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01876 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04196 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01568 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01569 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0829 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.87952 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 184.91968 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14719 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.09759 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15613 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.47028 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1391 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.33133 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.8753 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 267.48997 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07385 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.29783 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.71486 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 651.40564 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20783 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.5753 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01423 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19129 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.07028 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.36084 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.66466 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 9.2757 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 18.07229 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.78434 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00611 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01647 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.28574 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 164.75904 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 30.24498 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.0512 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 1.80723 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26365 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06122 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01246 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02835 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20071 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.38625 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.14859 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.08835 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.45382 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16082 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.16546 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.70542 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30622 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.41325 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37828 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08831 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26428 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.3253 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59764 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1732 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.07129 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02864 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00773 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06511 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0638 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.10482 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08003 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.06627 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07311 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08518 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.12932 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.43855 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0753 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15732 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26412 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13373 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18063 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02806 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01568 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4459 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.5984 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.98394 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 459.6968 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17514 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.34096 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26384 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.69016 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04869 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.046 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0732 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13453 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6093 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.75904 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53956 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.36948 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57048 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 73.69478 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20029 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 456.12451 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.15361 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05189 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 12.29578 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05422 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 12.20321 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.22711 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 5.01908 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26447 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 104.20683 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.26707 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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