January 18, 2017, 1:20 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07373 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.57378 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03554 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31799 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02683 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03594 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04015 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.59024 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03683 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00756 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.69343 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02866 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13752 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06466 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.3697 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.21257 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 401.92732 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03975 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02636 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 13.25216 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13857 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 59.08452 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.94158 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08352 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51054 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.5802 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14047 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93074 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20173 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29553 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37844 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45091 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01889 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04186 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01668 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01668 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08489 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.88376 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 186.70949 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15123 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.106 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15569 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45774 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14162 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28749 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.79984 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 267.35595 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07659 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.3682 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.7101 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 649.86949 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.28267 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.57599 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01421 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.28719 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08292 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.39468 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 80.11845 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 9.27525 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 18.06866 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 23.72214 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00613 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01646 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.68681 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 163.9229 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 30.21682 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.01144 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 1.82694 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27103 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06121 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01246 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02868 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20159 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.40323 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.15559 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.06284 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 49.94981 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16036 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.12387 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.72014 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30797 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.38807 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43213 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08957 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27209 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.32403 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58975 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17069 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.1843 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02826 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00773 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06745 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06333 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.10359 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08276 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 116.05701 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0731 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08481 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.19264 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.31379 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07528 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15698 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26272 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12864 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17904 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02867 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01668 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44581 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 146.29592 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.96165 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 462.93516 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17511 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.33889 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27216 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.7113 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04658 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04632 Tonga Pa'ang
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07556 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1345 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.63521 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.48906 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5529 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.37502 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57519 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 64.9468 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20026 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 453.06163 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.15479 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05167 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 12.38747 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05421 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 12.49508 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.24312 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 5.01706 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27219 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 104.1859 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.26561 Zimbabwe dollar

Microfinance takes center stage

According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco, the country’s economic story last year could be summed up in two words—investment grade.
 
The year 2013 saw the Philippines achieve investment grade credit rating—not just from one, but from all the three major credit rating agencies.  
 
These rating agencies—Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s—have cited the disciplined fiscal management with the declining reliance on foreign currency debt, strong external position, and low and stable inflation levels as bases for the score.
 
But Tetangco said that to help make the expected continued positive macroeconomic developments translate into the much-sought after objective of inclusive growth, the BSP will step up their advocacy for financial inclusion in 2014. 
 
Financial inclusion is the delivery of financial services at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low-income segments of society.
 
An estimated 2.5 billion working-age adults globally have no access to the types of formal financial services delivered by regulated financial institutions. 
 
In the Philippines, the number of households with savings only reached 26.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, although higher than the 24.5 percent recorded in the previous quarter.
 
Almost two-thirds (65.1 percent) of household savers have bank deposit accounts while 23.8 percent kept their savings at home and 10.8 percent put their money in cooperatives, paluwagan and other credit/loan associations.
 
It is argued that as banking services are in the nature of public good; the availability of banking and payment services to the entire population without discrimination is the prime objective of financial inclusion public policy.
 
“We believe this is one of the primary and more direct ways we can help the effort to support and rebuild the country, especially in the aftermath of the natural disasters that continue to strike at our hearts every year,” Tetangco said.
 
The BSP financial inclusion framework is built on three areas: 1) broad access to appropriate credit at reasonable rates through responsible and proportionate regulation that encourages market innovation, 2) timely and relevant
economic and financial learning, and 3) well-founded financial consumer protection.
 
At the center of the BSP’s financial inclusion framework is microfinance.
 
In 2000, the BSP was mandated by the General Banking Law to recognize microfinance as a legitimate banking activity and to set the rules and regulations for its practice within the banking sector. In the same year, the BSP declared microfinance as its flagship program for poverty alleviation. 
 
In 2013, the Philippines was once again recognized as first in the world in terms of its regulatory framework and practices for microfinance. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in its annual global survey, noted that the BSP continued to promote an enabling environment for microfinance as a key advocacy to support poverty reduction. It also cited advances in mobile access to bank accounts, the agent relationships for cross-selling of microinsurance products and the geospatial mapping currently being undertaken to account for different types of financial service access points in the country.
 
It is worth noting, according to Tetangco, that since 2002 microfinance in the banking system has grown dramatically. 
 
The number of microfinance borrowers increased by 191 percent to 1,137,813 million in 2012 from 390,635 clients in 2002. 
 
The microfinance loan portfolio expanded from P2.6 billion in 2002 to P8.4 billion in 2012, which is equivalent to a remarkable growth of 223 percent. 
 
From 2011 to 2012, there was sustained increase in the number of microfinance borrowers, amount of microfinance loans outstanding and savings of microfinance clients.
 
While regional distribution still exhibits the trend where concentration is at regions such as NCR and CALABARZON, it is interesting to note that there is an active and thriving market for microfinance for some regions where there is relatively low usage of regular banking products and services.
 
For example, Caraga is next to NCR and CALABARZON in terms of amount of microfinance loans outstanding and consistently belongs in the top 3 for the different microfinance loan products such as microenterprise loans, micro-agri loans and housing microfinance.
 
But Tetangco said that there is still room for further developments, stressing the fact that there is a need for intervention to accelerate the process of bringing down the benefits of growth to the grassroots.
 
“Empowering people to get out of poverty by giving them access to microcredit from formal financial service providers is a winning strategy. How to reach out to the teeming millions who live in poverty is the challenge before us,” Tetangco said.
 
Syarifuddin Hasan, Indonesia’s Minister of Cooperatives and SMEs, said that the Philippines has a good chance to decrease poverty because of the high economic growth.
 
“PH has a good chance to decrease poverty because of high economic growth.  (But) Economic growth must be followed by job creation to decrease poverty,” Hasan said.
 
Aside from job creation, he said that people must be encouraged to become entrepreneurs.  And this is where a strong microfinance framework comes in.
 
In the Philippines, MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) account for 99.6 percent of our total enterprises, employs 61 percent of our total employed population, and contributes 32 percent to the GDP.
 
Tetangco said that one of their principal thrusts is to develop a financial system that is inclusive and reaches out to the unbanked.
 
“To us, an inclusive financial system makes for a more stable financial system; equally important, it enables us to help improve the lives of our people.  This is particularly true for microfinance, our flagship program for poverty alleviation which we have been nurturing since 2000,” Tetangco said.
 
“Access to financial services empowers households to better manage their resources and improve the quality of their lives; and · that broad-based access to finance and financial inclusion support financial stability and facilitate inclusive growth,” he added.
 
Over the past ten years, Tetangco said that they have seen progress. 
 
“This tells us that these microfinance clients have attained a level of financial independence ... from gaining access to microcredit,” Tetangco said.
 
“But that’s only the banking system, there are a number of institutions outside the banking system that cater to microfinance and it is estimated that the banking system accounts for about a third of the total.  So what we’ve seen in the banking system, you multiply it by three to get a sense of the total of microfinance activities,” Tetangco said.
 
He also stressed that the rate of default continuous to be low.
 
“That is something that we have always reminded the microfinance institutions to keep an eye on and so far, they’ve been able to keep it to relatively low level,” he said.
 
Tetangco said that the development of the Philippine microfinance industry “has been phenomenal.”
 
“Ten years ago, microfinance was limited to microcredit provided by leading NGOs, cooperatives and a handful of banks. Since then, there has been a significant increase and diversification of microfinance players, products and services,as well as  delivery channels,” Tetangco said.
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