February 26, 2018, 5:15 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.0709 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0666 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03436 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.38512 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0246 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03436 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03861 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.59981 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0307 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00727 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.8027 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01931 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02544 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13243 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06249 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01931 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24035 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18341 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 386.48649 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03857 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02437 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01807 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.38996 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12225 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.88417 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.92317 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01931 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.73147 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.39788 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.41371 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11689 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94363 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19764 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24563 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34054 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5251 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0157 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03853 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01381 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01382 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08607 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.90347 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 173.55213 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14162 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.93494 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15101 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45448 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11653 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23243 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.90965 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 263.76448 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06723 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.25268 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.85714 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 718.33978 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.93822 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.4222 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01364 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0617 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.96236 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.311 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 76.94981 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.70077 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.37452 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.76255 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00578 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01583 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.1749 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 159.87839 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.06178 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.99421 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.50386 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22268 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05886 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01198 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0257 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1777 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.32037 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.96332 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.79151 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 46.1583 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15547 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.75676 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.63514 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29614 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.77317 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35764 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07562 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22261 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.9112 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59556 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15133 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99853 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02647 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00743 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01931 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06266 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06071 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.13127 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06552 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 107.39382 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07027 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07302 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.08832 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.23803 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07239 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14989 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25792 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34575 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15762 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02545 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01382 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42869 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 147.2973 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.84942 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 384.74904 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16892 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.9417 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22262 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60579 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04633 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04271 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07317 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12974 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56444 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.35907 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52008 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 70.40541 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01931 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54923 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 157.72201 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 558.39769 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 438.97684 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.05502 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04818 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.28822 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05212 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.28822 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.87297 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.82336 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22278 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 100.1834 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.98649 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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