February 24, 2018, 8:03 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07045 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04297 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03415 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.38059 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02443 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03415 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03837 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.59409 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0304 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00723 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.58872 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01918 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02533 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13159 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06235 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01918 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2325 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18295 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 384.03989 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03832 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02429 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.018 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.42605 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12152 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.88202 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.87186 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01918 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.71801 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.39493 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.3921 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11601 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94226 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.17652 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24369 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33858 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52177 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01557 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03825 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01371 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01377 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08533 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89967 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 172.74122 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14073 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.9296 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15011 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45024 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11584 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.216 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.85824 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 261.23153 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06714 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24329 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.71245 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 713.12103 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.9248 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.40936 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01359 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0619 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.9413 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.3061 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 77.09572 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.62709 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.26453 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.55496 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00575 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01573 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.12565 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 158.52676 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.96605 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.97621 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.45904 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22463 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05848 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0119 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02544 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17647 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31853 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95396 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.47477 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.90946 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15451 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.71398 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.62536 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29868 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.76098 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35911 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07494 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22327 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.88663 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59477 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15035 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 1.98703 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02611 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00738 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01918 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06229 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0629 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11989 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06472 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.82716 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06982 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07256 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.0862 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.12737 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07193 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14866 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2582 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34501 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15536 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02534 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01372 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42597 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 146.36485 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.78074 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 381.75523 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16785 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.87876 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22325 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60368 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04586 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0428 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07262 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12717 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.55966 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.06541 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51746 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 69.67197 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01918 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54556 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 156.62766 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 478.3426 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 435.71839 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 1.98465 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04817 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.20986 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05179 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.20986 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.85248 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.79474 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22325 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 99.5492 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.94226 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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