April 22, 2018, 10:43 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07053 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99923 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03418 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.38677 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02467 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03418 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03841 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.59228 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03034 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00724 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.62742 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0192 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02503 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13175 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06526 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0192 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26032 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18403 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 384.48243 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03837 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02421 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01858 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.41406 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12052 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 52.12791 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.7778 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0192 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.71039 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.39282 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.39601 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11551 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94891 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.1798 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24262 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33916 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52276 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01551 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03865 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01348 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01349 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08525 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89975 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 172.80584 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14089 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.95007 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15072 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45249 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11491 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24505 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.8093 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 264.60534 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06739 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26727 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.73862 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 806.60649 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.91031 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.37565 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01361 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06171 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.92145 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.32194 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 76.97331 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.61206 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.28442 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.40042 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00575 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01575 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.25043 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 158.93989 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.9034 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.99693 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.50451 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22892 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05855 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01192 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02543 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17577 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31452 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94968 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.52333 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.86134 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15521 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.76013 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64144 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29902 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.70175 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35007 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07459 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22915 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.87536 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59554 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14884 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01652 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02629 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00739 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0192 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06176 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06241 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21836 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06459 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.04187 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0699 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07223 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.16816 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.22066 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07202 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14768 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25792 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34667 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.161 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02513 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01349 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42646 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 146.53351 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.79316 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 380.06338 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16804 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.89015 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22917 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.599 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04602 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04292 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07736 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12961 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56365 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.7488 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.50259 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 70.84694 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0192 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54158 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 154.65719 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1139.831 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 437.43038 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.00538 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04922 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.16881 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05185 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.16881 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.83983 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.79931 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2292 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 99.66391 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.95026 Zimbabwe dollar

Defending institutions from identity politics

I SAW a funny meme circulating over the holidays with one person lamenting that Christmas made them fat (I think we may have all said this at one point or another, given our tendency to indulge during the season) with the other person thinking: “But you’ve been like that since August.” If part of your resolution for 2018 is the perennial one of losing weight, then good luck on your endeavor. 

Try watching the morning news to lessen your appetite. One morning after the new year, I was unfortunate enough to catch an interview by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez where he lambasted the Senate for acting slowly on key pieces of legislation. He called the Senate “mabagal na kapulungan” or “slow chamber” to deflect observations that the Lower House had a poor showing in terms of passing legislation of national import in 2017. Alvarez denied this, saying that the House did its job and that it was the Senate that was dragging its feet over the bills. 

I was surprised, to say the least, when Alvarez started dishing out unsolicited advice (the leadership could be more active in passing bills, he said) to Senate President Koko Pimentel on how to run his house, so to speak. While public officials should always be open to criticism, it was odd that such sharp statements were being issued in public between co-equals and political party mates, at that. You’d think there was a better way of conveying concern about the pace of legislation between the two top leaders in Congress other than tossing out remarks in an interview. 

You do get why Alvarez is sneering at Pimentel. From his point of view, Pimentel has been unable to shepherd his colleagues in a discernable way, unlike Alvarez who has steamrolled Duterte’s priority bills via the supermajority in the House by not-so-discreet arm twisting and other tactics. In his warped view, he gets things done while Pimentel struggles to steer his fellows. 

Alvarez’ remarks got a tiny rise out of Pimentel, enough for the latter to fire back that the Senate is a “thinking chamber” and that laws should be judged not by the number but by its impact on the lives of ordinary Filipinos. Whatever bravado Pimentel had worked up to respond to Alvarez had been negated by his offering that there was nothing personal between the two men and that in fact, Pimentel was attending Alvarez’ birthday party. Aaaaaw. All’s well that ends well? 

Not really. The behavior of these two showed clearly that identity politics is alive and thriving in or country. Never mind that Alvarez’ remarks (obviously aimed at Pimentel) cast negative aspersions on the Senate as an institution, calling its processes slow and inefficient. Pimentel, despite his attempt at witty repartee, revealed the depths of his strategy by quickly trying to diffuse tension and playing the “it’s nothing personal” card. Senate Minority Floor Leader Frank Drilon understood better than Pimentel the implication of Alvarez’ tirades, and called upon the Senate President to defend the institution. Imagine that: the most senior senator had to prod the Senate President to defend the Senate! 

Alvarez, on the other hand, showed utter disregard for his colleagues in the Senate when he lambasted their legislative performance, essentially questioning why they were taking so long in approving the President’s priority bills, when it was easy-peasy in the House. It also revealed his contempt for Pimentel’s leadership, which has long been a whispered story in the halls of the Senate: unlike Juan Ponce Enrile or Frank Drilon, he could hold the position but he can’t persuade his colleagues to tap to the same tune, even with much cajoling.

With the kind of leadership under Pimentel, it’s reassuring that there are other senators who remain independent, and those who refuse to cower to the administration’s wishes. Even Senator Sonny Angara, allied with the administration, did his best in combing through the TRAIN bill passed by the Lower House, mindful of the impact it can have on his reelection bid. Despite a special mention in the President’s last SONA, Angara did buckle down and go to work on the TRAIN provisions, trying to balance what he could in its myriad of provisions.

In any case, the midterm is soon coming up, and I hope that voters will be more cautious about who they vote for as legislators. With 12 on the chopping block, I remain hopeful that whoever is voted in next will continue to remember the Senate’s reputation for independence and its place in the checks-and-balances system of our governance.
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