June 21, 2018, 9:47 pm
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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

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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