September 24, 2017, 11:05 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07205 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19737 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03473 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33883 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02472 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03508 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03924 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.60624 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03223 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0074 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.03414 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02647 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13537 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06149 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26104 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20051 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 392.78006 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03919 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02419 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01905 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.25231 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12921 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 57.14342 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.22072 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.81263 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42857 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.49225 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12231 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92211 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19774 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25715 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34589 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45831 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01644 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03953 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01454 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01447 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08679 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.87895 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 174.63213 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14311 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.97705 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15314 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45756 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12286 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.19973 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.08986 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 260.48656 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0688 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27132 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.89582 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 658.62271 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.10712 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.56229 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01388 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20489 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02178 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.3433 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.4585 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.05435 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.65745 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.18972 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00592 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01609 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.67785 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 162.84088 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.53698 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.99588 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.29351 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26015 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05981 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01217 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02654 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18329 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34501 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.00647 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.68236 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.14597 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15773 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.0826 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65097 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30135 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.05376 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34969 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08232 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2598 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.92564 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58623 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15332 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01197 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02683 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00755 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06369 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06268 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06494 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07028 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.25171 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07269 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0755 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.13354 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.2576 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07357 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15204 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2669 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13067 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15655 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02649 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01455 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43567 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 147.14538 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.928 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 402.77613 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17167 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.10359 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2598 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64921 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04791 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0432 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06876 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13239 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59217 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.90818 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51422 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 70.57092 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56582 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 158.34804 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19569 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 445.73278 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0155 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04907 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.773 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05297 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.75142 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.95017 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.90386 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25991 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 101.81479 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.10025 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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