November 24, 2017, 5:54 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07222 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.23697 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.035 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34334 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02609 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.035 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03933 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.63992 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03265 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00741 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.27689 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01967 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02668 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13491 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06405 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01967 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28171 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20626 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 393.707 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03929 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0252 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01953 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.51721 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13055 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 59.27237 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.06096 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01967 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.84798 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42782 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.47748 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12472 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93215 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.25679 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26216 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34612 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53196 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01676 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0411 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01485 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01485 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.09043 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92566 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 176.89283 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14439 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.01731 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15359 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46264 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12608 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.21691 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.23442 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 266.33236 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06904 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28012 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.94985 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 692.86138 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03638 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.46903 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01391 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.2151 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03441 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.37082 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 78.99705 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.32547 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.69912 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.59685 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00593 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01613 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.50443 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 163.16618 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.60669 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.02262 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.44897 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2763 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05995 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0122 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02689 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18578 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34307 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.02635 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.80433 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 47.94494 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15822 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.90266 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6647 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30619 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.0885 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37348 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08155 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27622 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.00098 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60177 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16317 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03638 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02891 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00756 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01967 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06359 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06374 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06568 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07087 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 110.87513 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07473 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07785 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.16841 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.36755 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07374 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15449 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26735 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13097 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16686 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0267 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01486 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4367 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.85251 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.99312 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 410.64307 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17207 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.12743 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27624 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64562 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04905 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04547 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07723 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13037 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59133 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.93314 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51976 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.28811 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01967 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57699 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 158.89873 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19617 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 446.39136 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.10089 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05108 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.98368 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0531 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.988 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.98682 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.91504 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2763 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.05507 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.11701 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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