November 25, 2017, 12:34 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07254 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.22066 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03521 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34299 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02592 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03516 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03951 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.60589 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03253 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00746 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.51185 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01976 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02656 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13552 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06373 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01976 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27914 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20568 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 395.49586 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03947 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0251 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01934 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.5162 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13038 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 58.75346 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.09502 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01976 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.82714 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42146 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.5079 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12329 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94607 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.26118 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25918 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34868 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53457 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01656 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04139 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01481 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01481 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.09104 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92967 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 177.69657 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1449 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.07922 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15426 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46501 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12517 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.22145 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.16041 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 266.6535 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0693 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27625 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.03437 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 696.06876 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03813 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.47234 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01397 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20192 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03576 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.37669 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.67207 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.28586 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.77953 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.38305 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00596 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0162 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.52213 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 164.26314 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.7906 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.03635 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.46247 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27292 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06023 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01226 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02699 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18541 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34526 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.01442 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.92612 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.20229 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15888 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.91426 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.68451 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30047 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.14757 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36633 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0813 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27483 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.03279 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60352 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16042 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04563 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02867 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0076 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01976 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06392 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06337 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.07685 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0697 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.98933 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07516 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07679 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.15428 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.47807 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07408 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15686 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26162 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13157 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16365 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02658 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01482 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43868 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 150.13829 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.00356 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 406.44806 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17286 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.17345 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27485 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6448 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04877 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04522 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07781 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13097 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5918 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.15251 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53121 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.55275 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01976 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57349 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 159.22561 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19705 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 448.93324 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.09581 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05077 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.85875 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05334 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.88937 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.96543 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.93678 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27485 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.51877 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.14935 Zimbabwe dollar

EU-PH eco ties shielded from aid cut

Government officials yesterday assured the Philippines’  decision to stop development assistance from the European Union (EU) –  a display of the country’s independent foreign policy --  would not impact on the economic relations of the country and the trade bloc.  

The Philippines is foregoing about $250 million euros ($278.88 million or over P13 billion) worth of grants to prevent EU from meddling in its internal affairs, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said.

“We’re supposed to be an independent nation,” Medialdea  said in a message to reporters after the president had resented criticism made by European countries on his war on drugs policy, which has killed thousands of poor slum dwellers.

Almost 9,000 people, many small-time users and dealers, have been killed in the Philippines since Duterte took office on June 30. Police say about a third of the victims were shot by officers in self-defense during legitimate operations.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the move not to accept aid from EU was recommended by the Department of Finance  which President Duterte approved.

Abella expressed confidence  the issue of grants would not impact on the businesses in the country especially those from EU, confident that investors would continue to go where they know they will profit the most.

He said businessmen are also aware that Philippines is in a “sweet spot” of growth.

“You have to understand that the European community is different from the European Parliament and the business people really are part of the European community --- the European Union. And so... these people... business people, they understand the dynamics of politics and at the end of the day, they will go where they can grow and I believe that they understand that the Philippines right now is in a sweet spot of growth,” Abella  said.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III clarified that no existing grants from EU had been cancelled.

Dominguez, in a text message to Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza passed on to reporters, said a “specific grant that is considered interference in our internal affairs” is involved.

No details about the grant were available.

“We did not cancel any existing EU grants. PRRD (President Duterte) approved the recommendation not to accept the EU’s offer of a grant about $280 (million) which would involve review of our adherence to the rule of law,” he added.

Ramon Lopez, secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry for his part said the Philippines would not want the current Generalized System of Preferences, a unilateral privilege granted to the country by the EU, to be affected by the decision to stop aid.  

Lopez said GSP, which sets preferential tariffs on Philippine exports to the EU, is not a grant and is therefore a commercial transaction where both the EU and the Philippines  can mutually benefit from. 

“ EU should continue to engage the country.  GSP provides market access to our exporters but it allows cheaper Philippine products for  EU consumers or cheaper inputs for their manufacturers.  EU investors in the country that export back to EU also benefit from the GSP.  It is a mutually beneficial arrangement,” he added.

The Philippines is also negotiating  for a possible free trade agreement with the EU, a pact which would have far-reaching  liberalization scope in goods, services and investments on both sides.

Socio-economic planning secretary Ernesto Pernia downplayed the impact of Duterte’s decision saying that in general declining grants is not a government policy.

Pernia, however, said this move could carry an investment “shock” that “dissipates over time.”  

He also said the President;s decision to cut aid from Europe may still change.

“I will not take that as a policy,” he told reporters. “It is more of a reaction to criticism. I don’t think it’s going to remain as such.”

Abella said the Philippines has the right to accept loans and grants that it feels will help the country attain its objectives of promoting economic development inclusiveness and reducing poverty, attaining peace within its borders and with its neighbors, and fostering a law-abiding society.

He said the country also reserves the right to “respectfully decline offers that do not achieve these goals and offers that allow foreigners to interfere with the conduct of its internal affairs.”

Asked which specific projects are covered by the grant that the country declined, Abella said he does not have the specifics.

“(But) this is not necessarily humanitarian aid from the EU that may allow it to interfere with the internal policies of the Philippines. These grants pertain to particular projects or programs that have the potential of affecting the autonomy of the country,” he said.

Dureza said he has yet to find out the specifics of the grant and if it would affect any programs or projects in the Bangsamoro region.

Dureza, however, is confident that the decision it would not affect the strong alliance off the Philippines and EU.

“Our country has its own internal issues to address, that need not be looked into by other nations due to our own internal standards that other sovereign nations... must respect...I am also confident that in spite of this, on matters that relate to peace and stability, and other concerns not affected by this proffered but declined grant, both EU and the Philippines will continue their strong alliance and cooperation,” he said.

Europe ranks fifth or sixth largest donor of official development assistance.

Franz Jessen, EU ambassador to the Philippines, said he was informed this week of Manila’s decision to stop receiving aid from Europe, which was funding about 100 community projects across the country.

The EU has been providing support to Manila’s efforts to end nearly 50 years of Muslim rebellion in a conflict that has killed more than 120,000 people, displaced 1 million and stunted growth in one of the country’s resource-rich regions.

Europe granted the Philippines 130 million euros in development assistance between 2007-2013. In 2015, it pledged 325 million euros over four years to finance projects in Muslim Mindanao after Manila signed a peace deal with rebels in March 2014.

The Department of Health (DOH)  said it does not see any adverse impact that will stem from the decision as far as the Philippine Health Agenda is concerned.

 DOH spokesman  Eric Tayag said the P2 billion EU aid for the health sector set to be provided until next year will not be affected by the recent pronouncements of Malacanang.

The  budget is being used by the DOH as technical assistance and training funds for their personnel.

“For so many years, we depended on foreign donations. But we have to be self-reliant. We have to stand on our own feet and not just rely on grants forever,” Tayag said. 

Senators  asked the Duterte administration to look for sources to finance ongoing projects being funded by the EU.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan said it is the prerogative of any state to refuse to accept help from the international community.

“What government needs to do is to act swiftly and ensure that all existing and ongoing European Union aid programs benefitting our people in the local communities do not suffer when the aid is pulled out. The administration must then provide these ongoing projects with sufficient government funding,” Pangilinan said.

“Nevertheless, the EU’s expression of concern over the war on drugs, including the incarceration of Sen.  Leila De Lima, should not cause the Philippines to step back in our relationship with EU,” he added.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the committee on economic affairs, said the loss of billions of pesos in foreign aid from EU “is a price the Philippines can afford to pay in pursuit of truly independent foreign and economic policies.”

“However, this decision does not mean that we are forsaking the economic ties we have built over the years with the EU. The Philippines will always be willing to build meaningful trade relations with any State or regional organization that is willing to deal with us in good faith, as peers and equals,” Gatchalian said.

Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, for his part, called on Duterte administration “to be transparent and clear on its independent foreign policy direction, especially in dealings with other countries in terms of aids and loans.”

Aquino said Filipinos deserve to know the government’s foreign policy and economic directions because they would be directly affected by these policies.

“The administration’s refusal to receive aid seems like a contradictory move to its proposal to raise taxes. If we are refusing aid because we are self-sufficient, why are we then planning to burden our countrymen with more taxes that might raise prices of goods even higher,” he said.

Duterte critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said Duterte’s rejection of EU aid “is another reckless and whimsical decision by the Duterte administration.”

“Instead of being arrogant and hateful, as president of a developing country, Duterte ought to be grateful that there are donor countries that are concerned about the plight of our countrymen and are willing to help us,” he said.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros said Duterte’s move exposes the government’s lack of a clear foreign policy framework on how to deal with foreign aid.

“I strongly suggest that the government think this over carefully. The fact that it is at a loss for a coherent explanation for this unprecedented foreign policy decision should serve as basis for it to pause for deep reflection and reconsideration,” she said. (J. Montemayor, R. Castro, I. Isip, J. Lopez and G. Naval)
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