November 24, 2017, 6:13 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

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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