February 26, 2018, 7:14 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

What names in that garlic cartel?

THE Department of Agriculture (DA), thanks to Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, has finally identified 50 garlic importers operating criminally, whose smuggling activities for decades had been to the absolute detriment of local garlic and onion farmers.

These illegal importers, making up a garlic cartel, are scheduled to be deprived of their import licenses, and their cohorts within the DA and BPI their “tara” (as in BOC). Agriculture Secretary Piñol said this came from the list of the Department of Justice following the investigation of the Senate on the existence of garlic cartel in the country. 

While the existence of a garlic and onion cartel appears to be new information to the DA, to the media and garlic and onion farmers, the existence of this cartel has been known for decades, going back to 1992 when I first attended a meeting with garlic and onion farmers from Nueva Ecija. These farmers came to UPLB seeking help against the illegal smuggling of onion and garlic.

DA had earlier blacklisted 37 companies for failing to import garlic despite securing import clearance. The Secretary said the non-importation of the garlic resulted in the soaring prices of garlic last month. 

Senator Cyhthia Villar recently chided the Department of Justice (DOJ) for not filing charges against suspected smugglers of garlic despite a 2014 report on the existence of a cartel importing the product.

Sen. Villar, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture, also asked the Department of Agriculture (DA), particularly its Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), why they did not blacklist importers and brokers suspected of being part of the garlic cartel.

She said the Senate also investigated the reported existence of the cartel a few years back and DOJ officials at the time provided a list of names of four brokers and 55 import companies allegedly used as fronts to corner the importation of garlic to the detriment of local farmers.

 “The DOJ already has a report (on the cartel) and they did not prosecute then, how do you think they would prosecute now?” Villar told reporters after conducting another hearing on the matter.

She lamented the DOJ and the DA also failed to file charges or act on the reported rice cartel that her committee previously investigated.

The senator said the country consumes about 100,000 metric tons of garlic a year or roughly 10,000 MT a month.

How many out there resent the fact that Filipinos are buying and eating Chinese-grown onion and garlic, not to mention many other vegetable? 

Filipino farmers and dealers can be faulted too. Go to any supermarket in Laguna, Muntinlupa, Makati: Davao’s Dizon farms string their Filipino grown far-more-superior garlic into strands of half-kilos, 20 or so bulbs. Shoppers are either single seniors or older couples, people who eat out all the time (in the right places, it is cheaper than cooking at home); or less food for smaller family. We don’t need 20 garlic bulbs in one buying. And the ones with tight budgets do not have P120 for a string of 20 bulbs. Sell local garlic by the bulb, not strung up, unaffordable.

Taiwan garlic bulbs, the Chinese-owned supermarkets sell singly—tingi. Unavailability of local garlic sold singly, by the bulb, allows for a booming business of smuggled foreign-grown garlic.

Senator Francis Pangilinan had delivered a privilege speech at the senate on this. He underscored the government’s need to be at the forefront of stopping illegal smuggling of agricultural products. Unscrupulous trading undermines the country’s efforts at food security.

 “It must be stressed that food security is national security—a public interest of the highest order. Government should find solutions to stop illegal smuggling of agricultural products before we totally cripple our farmers.” Pangilinan adds that smuggling directly affects the livelihood of the country’s farmers as well as posing a serious threat to the health of consumers.

 “When smuggled goods find their way into our markets, our farmers are robbed of their profits. Smuggled products sell at a much lower price in the market. Smuggled pork are sold for as low as P70 a kilo, while our own local pork is sold at P170 a kilo. Consumers will not pick a more costly produce, even if they are not assured of the quality. These products have not gone through quality control processing; as such they pose as health hazards to our consumers.”

Pangilinan says that even as the Philippines is an agricultural country, “we are unable to feed our people properly and cannot provide for the hands that feed us.”

 “We need sustained and relentless efforts at going after smugglers, and it should not end with the seizure of goods smuggled: It must ultimately end up in placing smugglers behind bars.”

***

Dahliaspillera@yahoo.com​​​​​​​
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