June 22, 2018, 8:49 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06897 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04526 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03404 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52113 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02544 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03343 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03756 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.57728 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03184 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00709 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 32.88225 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02522 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12883 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07009 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.277 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19573 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 375.96244 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03752 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02494 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01868 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.01146 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12169 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.86948 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.59718 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.78854 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41869 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.33333 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12088 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93052 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20053 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25367 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33502 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51117 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01621 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03897 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01426 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01425 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08833 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.87962 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 169.05164 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14052 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.88526 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14739 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44866 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1197 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23812 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.22103 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 261.46479 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06819 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27817 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.23474 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 796.99531 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.05333 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.4507 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01331 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06607 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.89577 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28255 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 75.84601 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.92488 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 16.90141 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.8492 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00568 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0154 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.40488 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 157.33333 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.26291 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.00282 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.66254 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2584 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05725 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01165 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02546 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17921 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31576 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.99324 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.69014 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.33333 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15181 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.66667 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65765 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29239 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.39812 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3853 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07515 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25797 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.74178 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59151 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15379 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0385 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0272 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00723 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06164 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06142 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.28545 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06993 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.70047 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06835 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07565 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.1966 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 15.95174 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07042 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14841 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25277 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33719 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16718 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02548 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01426 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41701 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.29577 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.57277 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 397.4216 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16432 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.67099 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25817 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61446 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04845 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04326 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08905 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12487 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56648 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 42.59155 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49596 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.33803 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01878 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59211 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 147.69953 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1498.59155 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 429.12676 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02911 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04869 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.62592 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0507 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.62592 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.92432 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.69202 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25823 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 97.4554 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.79624 Zimbabwe dollar

Agriculture and the inadequacy of financial inclusion

When we analyzed what ailed Philippine agriculture, then citing a problem thus far still unaddressed by our crop of unqualified and inexperienced agricultural authorities who fail to appreciate the multidimensional requisites needed by the sector, we focused on the dearth of economic development caused by inadequate risk facilities. 

We cited the criticality of crop insurance, a risk mitigating element impacting not simply on the value of agricultural products but more important, on the welfare of the agricultural worker.

That problem would have been easily addressed had the newly appointed Department of Agriculture officials gotten their priorities in order and crafted amendments to the charter of the state-run agency responsible for risk insurance.

Allow us to continue to analyze agriculture’s shortcomings from the perspective of economics, investments and finance -- areas unaddressed more today than under previous administrations.

It is a cliché that among our poorest, the extremely poor in terms of both compensation and productivity are those in the agricultural sector. We cited the relative productivity and employment statistics. Nothing has changed save for loquacious talk irrigated by a flood of saliva in media.

Let us review recent economic policies operant under this administration.

On the macroeconomy, two weeks ago we learned that the monetary authorities were set to reduce the reserve requirements of financial institutions to allow an increase in the amount of money in circulation. Because the value of money is subject to supply and demand, and because the peso still wallows way below the dollar and might continue doing so, an increase in the supply of money would force the value of the peso farther down.

The upside is that foreign buyers might find our agricultural products much cheaper and should thus purchase more following the demand frontiers and elasticities of their individual markets. Unfortunately, regardless of the lower prices, specific markets can only gobble up so much. Price elasticity kicks in. Imagine a fast-food outlet offering unlimited free rice and a patron with the appetite of a starving sailor. There are limits to the amount of rice he might pig on.

The downside of a devalued peso is in the exponential increase in the prices of agricultural inputs from fertilizers and pesticides to the fuel needed to transport these. For a sector already poorly compensated and whose productivity as a ratio of GDP (gross domestic productivity) is comparatively low, a diminished peso might simply aggravate existing poverty and continuing despondence.

In the area of investments, specifically foreign direct investments in agriculture, recent policies from the outfield impact directly on agricultural productivity where these shift opportunities away from agricultural development and instead fatten corporate profits. The imminent lifting of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) ban on open pit mining will see huge tracts of land carved out, poisoned with acid, cyanide and other toxins, creating a toxic chemistry of effluents flowing on to fishing waters, albeit fattening the purses of foreign Ferengis and domestic businessmen.

Even with media’s microphones constantly in the faces of our agricultural authorities, on these there’s hardly an audible peep.

Matters worsen when we discern developments in the area of critical financial inclusion.

Economic exclusion began with the imposition of prohibitive capitalization requirements imposed by the Basel accords on rural banks, the principal conduits for agricultural lending. Unable to recapitalize many either shut down, merged or sold out to pedigreed universal banks whose more risk-averse credit policies and documentation processes basically disenfranchise the agricultural sector, forcing farmers and fisher folk into high-risk informal lenders.

Exclusion increased when the government allowed foreign financial institutions into the rural banking industry where many of the latter, strangled by compliance and capitalization requisites, simply sell out.

To make matters worse, the inadequacy of financial inclusion is catalyzed by the lightest penalties imposed on the failure to extend requisite agricultural credit. 

Following the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2010, a credit quota requires banks to allocate at least 10 percent of total loanable funds to agrarian reform beneficiaries, and 15 percent to farmers and fisherfolk. Unfortunately the data shows only rural and cooperative banks met the required levels allotting to agrarian reform a mere P8.26 billion. The larger banks and the rest of the rural financial institutions would rather pay the light penalties than take on agricultural receivables.

All these remain essentially unaddressed -- a sad commentary on both our officials’ competence and their lost priorities.
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