June 20, 2018, 11:41 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06897 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04526 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03404 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52113 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02544 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03343 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03756 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.57728 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03184 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00709 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 32.88225 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02522 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12883 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07009 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.277 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19573 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 375.96244 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03752 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02494 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01868 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.01146 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12169 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.86948 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.59718 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.78854 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41869 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.33333 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12088 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93052 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20053 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25367 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33502 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51117 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01621 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03897 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01426 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01425 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08833 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.87962 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 169.05164 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14052 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.88526 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14739 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44866 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1197 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23812 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.22103 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 261.46479 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06819 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27817 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.23474 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 796.99531 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.05333 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.4507 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01331 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06607 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.89577 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28255 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 75.84601 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.92488 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 16.90141 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.8492 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00568 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0154 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.40488 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 157.33333 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.26291 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.00282 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.66254 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2584 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05725 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01165 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02546 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17921 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31576 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.99324 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.69014 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.33333 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15181 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.66667 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65765 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29239 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.39812 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3853 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07515 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25797 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.74178 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59151 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15379 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0385 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0272 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00723 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06164 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06142 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.28545 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06993 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.70047 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06835 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07565 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.1966 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 15.95174 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07042 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14841 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25277 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33719 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16718 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02548 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01426 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41701 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.29577 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.57277 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 397.4216 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16432 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.67099 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25817 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61446 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04845 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04326 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08905 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12487 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56648 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 42.59155 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49596 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.33803 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59211 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 147.69953 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1498.59155 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 429.12676 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02911 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04869 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.62592 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0507 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.62592 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.92432 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.69202 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25823 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 97.4554 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.79624 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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