June 24, 2018, 1:18 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06901 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02912 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03401 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5072 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02524 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03345 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03758 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.57159 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03155 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00712 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 32.90079 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01879 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02526 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1289 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07111 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01879 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28053 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19402 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 376.17437 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03754 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02493 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01856 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.99061 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12218 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.75385 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.57591 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01879 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.77772 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41526 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.33615 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12016 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92728 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.1963 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25225 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33484 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51146 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01612 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03918 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01416 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01417 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08979 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.87956 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 169.07178 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14072 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.87599 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14741 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44878 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11882 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24803 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.23224 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 264.43067 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06764 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27568 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.24728 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 798.38407 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03119 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.45509 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01333 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06417 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.89121 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28183 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 76.00526 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.92522 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 16.91094 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.86622 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00568 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01541 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.38595 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 158.00451 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.292 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.98572 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.74709 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25254 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05728 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01166 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02548 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1786 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3177 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.98891 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.98647 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.97896 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15183 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.67042 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65295 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29256 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.4053 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37584 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07518 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25239 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.72679 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59207 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15205 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03401 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02719 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00723 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01879 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06134 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0609 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.28222 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06966 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.55769 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06839 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07509 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.18236 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 15.96073 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07046 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1479 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25235 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33738 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16635 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02551 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01417 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41725 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.94363 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.72905 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 394.98309 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16441 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.67644 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25202 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61856 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04882 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04333 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08786 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12682 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56924 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 42.63435 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49267 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.51597 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01879 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59451 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 147.50094 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1499.4363 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 430.10147 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.07159 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0488 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.56614 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05073 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.56614 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.92165 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.69466 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25241 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 97.51033 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.80008 Zimbabwe dollar

MMDA, DPWH can learn from US traffic road markers and signs

I have just come from a personal 10-day trip to the United States, in the Los Angeles area in particular. As I set out to drive back home in Quezon City, I noticed the freshly painted or repainted intersections with the yellow box figures. Of course, we know that those boxes with an X sign and bordered by a square mean motorists should keep them clear all the time.  Even if the green light is still on, motorists are supposed to keep clear of the yellow boxes once the other side is already filled up with vehicles.  The reason is clear- this is to prevent traffic build-up and that the intersections can still be passable in case of emergencies. But how many drivers understand the yellow boxes or if they understand, how many actually follow? To my estimate only 10- 15 percent follow the marker and the rest violate them. This means those yellow boxes are useless unless motorists follow them.

The problem lies in communicating what the yellow boxes mean. In the US, they also have those in several intersections but aside from the box, they have also painted the boxes with big “Keep Clear” signs. It only takes a few gallons of additional paint to copy the US system. We can use “Keep Clear” on one end and maybe a more understandable “Hawag Barahan!” on the other. And it will help if violators get a ticket or at least instructional reminders from traffic enforcers.

Over here, we do not have clear road markers for left turning vehicles. On the intersection of Espana and AH Lacson in Manila for example, the area for turning left from Espana towards Nagtahan has no road marker. So it is left to the police or  traffic enforcer to interpret if only one lane is allowed to turn left. Several motorists occupy the second lane as there are actually three lanes to to turn left to and Espana has four lanes. A more orderly traffic flow can be achieved if the the corner has two markers for those going left and those going straight to Quiapo can avoid the two lanes on the left. Again, it only takes a few gallons of paint to do this.

There are also areas where turning right on ‘red’ is prohibited and there are also areas where turning right on red is allowed if there are no oncoming vehicles. I only see a few of these. Again, it will help if authorities can put up those signs of no turning right on red. In fairness, these signs are already seen in Makati and Bonifacio Global City and of course at Subic.
 
As I wrote in my column in July 2016, the standard ‘Stop’ signs on intersections can contribute to a more orderly traffic as they have in the US. It takes some educating or re-educating the motoring public but if the first-come, first-served or first-out rule is observed here, we can avoid those gridlocks and anarchy on the road.
 
What’s good in the US is that the standard signs and road markers are in place and are followed even at the airport and mall parking areas. Thus, traffic is orderly and less stressful even if they have the biggest or second biggest vehicle population in the world. For now, I hope MMDA and DPWH add those “Keep Clear” and “Huwag Barahan” markers on the yellow-boxed intersections.
 
Going back to my US trip, I again had the opportunity to drive in the Torrance, Carson and San Pedro areas in LA, thanks to my sister Minda who lent me her 2002 Mercedes Benz ML 320 compact SUV which she acquired as a second-hand car recently. It’s been a long time since I drove a Benz, the most memorable of which was when the German carmaker invited me to the launch and test drive of their MB diesel-powered cars in Germany itself and last one was a short overnight drive to Subic maybe some eight years ago.

As I walked near the ML 320 which was the car my brothers used to pick me and my sister up at the Tom Bradley International Airport, I was surprised to see the black paint still in shiny condition and even more surprised to see the leather seats and the rest of the interiors in fresh look.  The car also had sufficient space for three large baggage and one small trolley bag. The ride to Torrance was fast and comfortable and the suspension felt like it was a relatively new car even if it is already 16 years old.

As I drove from Torrance to a hospital in San Pedro where I regularly visited my mother and back, I discovered more of the SUV. It has a 3.2L V6 gasoline engine, 215 horsepower and 219 torque at 3,000 to 4800 rpm. With a 5-speed automatic transmission and a four-wheel drive, the ML 320 was just perfect for those short and occasional drives on the freeway. Even a 2002 model, it has retractable side mirrors with the right side mirror tilting down when you do a back-up maneuver so you get a better view of the ground. There is also a sun-roof which I got to open only once as it was very cold outside.  The driver’s seat is electrically-adjustable and has a 3-way memory. The heater was also perfect for those night drives when you’re coming in from cold windy weather outside. I was also surprised to see two USB outlets beside the lighter socket, so convenient for charging cell phones.  Aside from the power windows, the ML 320 also has power button for the two folding windows on the rear.

I certainly enjoyed driving this 16-year old SUV and I’m still amazed at the number of convenience features it has. Now, I’m a Benz fan again.
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