December 13, 2017, 9:49 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07286 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.2371 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03532 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34185 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02619 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03532 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03968 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.64127 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0329 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00748 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.73174 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0268 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13611 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06556 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27679 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20509 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 397.22221 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03964 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02545 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01965 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 13.01091 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13129 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 59.76786 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.15079 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.85774 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43159 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.50853 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12539 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95833 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.2829 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26354 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35337 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53936 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01684 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04169 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01486 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01487 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08926 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93552 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 178.63095 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14558 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.02202 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1549 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46552 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12694 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24167 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.29563 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 269.1865 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07009 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27806 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.49306 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 705.13886 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06944 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.47282 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01405 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.25091 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04067 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.38333 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.98016 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.15476 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.85714 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.5879 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00599 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01627 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.64028 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 164.68253 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.98016 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.0371 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.48373 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26984 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06049 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01231 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02708 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18758 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34038 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.03175 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.00397 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.25754 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15954 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.97619 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.67083 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30893 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.20853 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37825 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08082 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26978 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.06349 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60937 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16524 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0454 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02854 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00763 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06416 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06375 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.16171 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07086 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.49603 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07223 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07805 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.16704 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.57698 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0744 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15376 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26488 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13228 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16689 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02681 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01487 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4406 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 151.38888 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.05159 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 412.7976 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17361 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.21786 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26978 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64663 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0499 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04555 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07593 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13154 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59567 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.30555 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53914 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.66666 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57401 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 160.53571 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19792 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 450.57538 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11786 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05142 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 11.04186 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05357 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 11.51528 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99881 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.95933 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26986 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.96627 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.18056 Zimbabwe dollar

Cigarettes, solons and carcinogens

It isn’t that our lawmakers do not know how to count. There are signs some do. Scandals show they can be so exceptionally gifted when an amount involves millions in pork barrel allocations.

Private lobby money, when introduced into the legislative process likewise catalyzes arithmetical abilities. Beyond the intellectual capacities of a solon, lobbyists can fill in the gaps.

The politics of addition turns into mathematics and solons can quickly crunch factorials and infinite numbers. Their cranial facility expands and fills in previously hollow echo chambers. Eyes glow when peso signs and plus ultras prefix numbers. Addition is quickly replaced by multiplication and its inverse, division, becomes the least useful operation.

And it isn’t just money. Solons can multiply an electoral count beyond  a finite number of voters. 

Note also their use of exponents. Gerrymandering, the dismemberment of congressional districts, creates larger bureaucracies multiplying redundant costs, expenses and, yes, pork barrel allocations.

There is one number, however, a lawmaker’s mind cannot seem to grasp. It is 150,000. 

150,000 is larger than 747, the number of deaths from the Ondoy calamity that had cost P23 billion. 

150,000 is larger than 6,300, the government’s maximum count of fatalities from the Yolanda crisis. 

150,000 is over a hundred times larger than 1,144, the number killed in Marawi whose cost now exceeds P 3 billion. 

From these crises, the fatalities total 8,191.

Match that against 150,000, the number of Filipinos who die from tobacco-related diseases yearly. That’s Ondoy, Yolanda and Marawi inflicted 18 times a year.

Now let’s count the costs of smoking. One published estimate of the yearly cost to the Philippine economy is P400,000,000,000,000.  Indulge us the long form to emphasize the number of zeroes. For lawmakers who cannot count to 16 with 10r ten fingers, that’s P400 billion. 

While it is not a rule of thumb, historically the costs relative to the revenues earned are, at least, 520 percent higher. Since total revenues are determinable from sectoral data on taxes paid by the industry, ceteris paribus, historical ratios allow us to compute for the costs. 

Another method is to count the individual costs of the fatal diseases directly attributable to smoking. From simply four -- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart attack, stroke and lung cancer -- the attributable costs totaled as much as P210 billion in 2016. Add the 42 other diseases smoking directly causes and the total cost can reach from P 400 billion to P1 trillion.

These are not unaudited numbers like lobby money spent on solons who deliberately disregarded deadly costs and thumbed down incremental taxes on tobacco.

Inversely the billions the economy spends against the taxes paid by the tobacco companies are not imaginary numbers. These measure the greed of those who legislate into their pockets, allotting pork barrel funds that steal away from legitimate uses. 

The billions the economy spends to medicate a carcinogen-consuming public and fund tobacco companies who pay less taxes than are spent by those stricken ill and die are real. As real as the majority of lawmakers opting to increase the taxes on multipliers that bloat inflation for Filipinos already victimized by the high costs of simply subsisting.

Their myopia is incredible. How difficult is it to understand that increasing excise taxes on tobacco, while increasing tax revenues, does not reduce the peso’s purchasing power as do the other taxes solons propose?

Where both chambers passed their own tax reform bills sans provisions on tobacco excise taxes, the bovine scatophilia involved bears reviewing given a bicameral conference this week.

One proponent of the tax reform bill simply said the reason his committee deliberately kept the issue of excise taxes on tobacco products out was he lacked people to look into it, himself already preoccupied chairing two separate legislative committees. Never mind that think tanks have offered their independent expertise and research pro bono.

His committee employs at least 50 plus an unknown number of consultants. As a reference, Berkshire Hathaway, a $329-billion company, only has 25 in its office staff. 

One solon suggested the matter of tobacco excises might be taken up in 2018.

He could have fertilized a whole field grazing with bulls with that excuse. The 2018 congressional calendar is focused on three - - Federalism that concentrates power and funds on local politicos, the impeachment of officers in the last remaining bastions of our threatened democracy and the midterm local elections that perpetuate political positions.

Like smoking, these spawn fatal cancers.
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Column of the Day

Unhealthy foods

By PHILIP S. CHUA | December 13,2017
‘Hazardous to our health: Refined sugars, artificial sugars, processed meats/vegetables/fruits, etc., potato chips, and soft drinks of any kind.’

Opinion of the Day

Special Science & Nature City of the Philippines

By DAHLI ASPILLERA | December 13, 2017
‘1982--The 1st Science Community. Easily, the choice was Los Baños. Over the years, Los Baños and UPLB were consistent in producing research and development (R&D) outputs of service to the community. --DOST Secretary Dr. Fortunato Tanseco de la Peña.’