September 24, 2017, 10:58 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

The bearish blight of BPOs

Foreign investments in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, once the brightest among the sunrise sectors of the Philippine economy, seem to have momentarily fallen behind a dark cloud under the Duterte administration. BPO investors have recently turned bearish.

Since we continue to trail in attracting foreign direct investments (FDI) relative to the successes of our Asian neighbors and peers who’ve forged far ahead, a blight in BPO investments, however slight or temporary behooves an analysis.

The BPO industry, after labor exports, has long been cited as the singular domestic industry keeping the economy afloat along several socio-economic aspects all critical to a bureaucracy that has failed to provide sustained employment. 
BPO was the quick fix.

For one, the start-up capital and ease of entry requirements for BPO investors are relatively less demanding than those for capital-intensive industries. At low to medium capital investments, inordinate profits are earned by investors albeit often unlinked to GDP growth. BPO investments were at periods of either low or moderate GDP as the former surpassed the latter surging by over 2.5 percent against GDP’s best growth figures.

For another, the infrastructure required, at least in our major urban centers, is available, albeit moderately provided as telecommunications, transportation and power facilities could still stand improvement.

A third aspect, the diversity of BPO variants -- from directory assistance to telemarketing and order-taking telephony for pizza deliveries, to medical and legal transcription -- offers the domestic job market and the decidedly overqualified Filipino college graduate fallback options that ensure contractual employment at the very least. 

Note the contribution to gross domestic productivity of the services sector in which the BPO industry is tucked under. While it does not help in our industrialization endeavor, the industry provides the otherwise underemployed college graduate some disposable income that leads to consumerism and household consumption -- both critical addends of the GDP expense formula. 

Global developments and domestic variables, both political and economic, however compel us to seriously review the BPO data as international investors in the industry seem to be slackening off.

There are three kinds of data of varying degrees of credibility to chew on.

The Philippine Statistics Authority measured a dramatic 34.07 percent fall in investment pledges in information and communications technology of which the BPO sector is an integral component. Comparing first quarter data between 2017 and 2016 the decline in peso terms amounts to over P2.16 billion.

While their data includes both the first and second quarters of 2017 arrayed against similar benchmarks in 2016, a major daily, quoting from unnamed sources, reported a 34.96 percent fall in investments in the broad information technology-business process management sector from January to May of 2017. Not only does this zero-in on the BPO sector but it mirrors the official data for the first quarter and shows a deepening of the bearish sentiments.

The third substantiates the first two and is perhaps the most incisive as it stems from informed analysis.

The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines fears that a toxic chemistry of predatory fiscal proposals which include reneging on investment incentives while slapping prohibitive taxes on the industry would “ impact, in an irreversible way, decisions to remain, expand or set up new companies in the country.” For investors facing a politically temperamental dispensation, given the superior incentives granted elsewhere and the downsides of heavy-handed taxation that eat into thinning profits, these could indeed be game changers.

In seeking causes for the drastic 35 percent decline in investor interest it would be tempting to blame political realities posed by American BPO contractors who account for 64.7 percent given the thrust of the United States to repatriate jobs and reduce their dependence and vulnerability to volatile external providers. 

Where volatility is critical for the US BPO contractor, our current foreign policy pronouncements, in a hypocritical drive to ingratiate ourselves with those who would violate our territorial rights, does little to assure longtime partners and our principal source of FDIs that our highest officials are steadfast, stable or, at the very least, predictably sane. 

The manic depressive mix of acerbic aversion for American capital against allegiant blabber favoring an expansionist communist and characteristically military juggernaut is not reassuring. In fact the flow of capital between the Philippines and a bullying China has worsened.

The feared “America First” policies of the Trump administration cannot be the immediate impetus behind the bearish mood of BPO investors. Not yet at least. The economic priorities of the Trump administration are healthcare, tax reform and an encompassing focus on American jobs of the industrial and sustainable kind. The virtual repatriation of overseas BPO jobs was neither a campaign theme nor is it likely to be on a priority “To Do” list.

The ominous shadows cast on the Philippine BPO industry are homegrown. Bearishness stems from fears of prohibitive tax costs attributable to the myopic view of a Keynesian dispensation that thinks high taxes stimulate an economy. Unfortunately in the case of BPOs inordinate taxes may inadvertently slaughter the goose that lays the golden eggs.
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