February 26, 2018, 7:18 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.0709 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0666 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03436 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.38512 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0246 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03436 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03861 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.59981 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0307 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00727 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.8027 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01931 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02544 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13243 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06249 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01931 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24035 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18341 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 386.48649 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03857 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02437 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01807 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.38996 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12225 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.88417 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.92317 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01931 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.73147 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.39788 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.41371 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11689 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94363 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19764 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24563 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34054 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5251 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0157 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03853 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01381 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01382 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08607 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.90347 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 173.55213 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14162 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.93494 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15101 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45448 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11653 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23243 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.90965 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 263.76448 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06723 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.25268 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.85714 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 718.33978 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.93822 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.4222 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01364 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0617 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.96236 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.311 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 76.94981 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.70077 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.37452 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.76255 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00578 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01583 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.1749 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 159.87839 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.06178 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.99421 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.50386 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22268 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05886 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01198 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0257 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1777 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.32037 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.96332 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.79151 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 46.1583 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15547 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.75676 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.63514 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29614 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.77317 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35764 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07562 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22261 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.9112 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59556 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15133 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99853 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02647 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00743 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01931 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06266 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06071 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.13127 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06552 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 107.39382 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07027 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07302 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.08832 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.23803 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07239 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14989 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25792 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34575 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15762 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02545 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01382 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42869 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 147.2973 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.84942 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 384.74904 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16892 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.9417 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22262 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60579 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04633 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04271 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07317 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12974 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56444 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.35907 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52008 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 70.40541 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01931 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54923 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 157.72201 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 558.39769 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 438.97684 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.05502 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04818 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.28822 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05212 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.28822 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.87297 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.82336 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22278 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 100.1834 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.98649 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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