September 25, 2017, 9:23 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07264 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21717 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03501 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34187 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02482 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03536 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03956 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.5979 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03249 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00745 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.31665 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02662 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13627 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0618 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27967 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20131 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 395.96518 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03951 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02438 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01919 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.36155 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13059 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 57.37935 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.30439 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.82753 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43125 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.51325 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1233 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94106 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21553 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25924 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3485 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46183 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01657 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03986 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01461 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0146 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08739 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.88588 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 176.45964 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14445 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.08406 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15453 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46127 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12375 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23398 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.13074 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 263.05379 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06919 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28145 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.08149 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 663.96359 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.1252 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.5623 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01399 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21833 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03738 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.35362 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 80.07516 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.12164 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.80063 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.34177 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00596 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01622 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.74387 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 163.94383 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.77848 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.02017 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.31408 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26167 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0603 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01227 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02675 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18458 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34721 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.01345 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.91851 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.53639 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15916 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.1521 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.66021 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30696 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.16792 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35121 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08291 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26183 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.9818 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59118 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15441 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.05301 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02722 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00761 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06415 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06309 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08386 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07081 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.78797 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07201 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07606 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.14001 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.39142 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07417 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15268 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26236 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13172 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15792 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02662 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01462 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4392 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 148.3386 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.05617 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 406.07593 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17306 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.18552 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26179 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65427 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04862 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04355 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06922 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13382 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5966 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.24446 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51938 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.10364 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57041 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 159.61234 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19728 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 449.66376 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04153 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04947 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.86234 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0534 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.74723 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.96618 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.94363 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26193 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.64043 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.15783 Zimbabwe dollar

Iceland’s high-tax, no-corruption economy

REYKJAVIK, Iceland. --  As Filipino taxpayers, arraying the antics of our honorable Philippine Congress and the Executive Branch against the even higher taxes that we pay relative to the rest of the economies in the region it is easy to think that where a high taxation regime exists there also would be plentiful corruption. 

Already overtaxed at a good third of our incomes, plus the other excises and the myriad of tolls, fees and payments that flow from a public with one of the lowest compensation structures in the region, albeit constantly confronted with multi-billion government corruption, the triple whammy seems to be a permanent feature of the Filipino reality.

It is the reality that we’ve been suffering for so long that each time we go to the polls we pray for deliverance but end up with nothing but compromise. While technically there were no new taxes passed into legislation in the last administration, the utter deficiencies in infrastructure spending while a regime of high taxation persisted simply exacerbated the lack of economic inclusivity experienced before and during the Aquino administration.

Worse, corruption remained and even seemed to have worsened as old demons simply took on updated forms as corruption’s old models mutated. Pork barrels were renamed as development assistance funds and the latter morphed into a monstrous presidential disbursement acceleration program that enjoyed immunity from prosecution. Given a high liquidity economy, there was really more to steal. The same toxic realities simply perpetuated -- high taxes and high corruption.

Corruption takes its sustenance from the taxes we pay to keep our government running and, as it happens, to maintain and fatten the crooks in power so  they might continue doing to us from behind what it is they do so efficiently. Ironically we continue to elect them.

The chemistry of high taxes and high corruption can be toxic. This is evidenced by the growing number of shadow economy endeavors that fall outside the umbrella of taxation. The shadow economy’s existence makes sense. Why should anyone work hard to earn meager incomes only to surrender a good third of the latter to officials who not only give back very little but, through corruption, allow taxpayer’s money to fund and fatten more crooks?

Debunking our Philippine reality there are economies in the world where taxes are astronomically multiples of ours but are readily accepted and have become ironical points of national pride. There are places where, not only is corruption rare but the high tax regimes in those compel ever more diligent hard work which together produce even higher productivity relative to more liberal tax regimes.

A case in point is the Icelandic economy and its high tax, low corruption regime.

First, keep in mind Iceland’s top tax rate for individual income is 46.30 percent down from its peak of 46.90 percent. Their unemployment rate is 2.4 percent. Everyone’s working in the legitimate economy and nearly half of what an Icelander earns goes to the government. What government official in our parts would not salivate at that?

Iceland’s high taxes necessarily increase costs of living in multiples that would shove most into a shadow economy given the imposition. Ironically it doesn’t. Updating relative data to August 2017, let us do the math and analyze why.

A one-piece chicken meal ladled with spaghetti, a cup of rice and a tumbler of soda would cost about P150 in a fast-food restaurant in the Philippines. The same in Iceland would cost about P1,060. On the average consumer prices in Iceland are 253.26 percent higher than ours. Restaurant prices are 537.32 percent higher. Groceries, 242.74 percent higher.

Now here is where an equitable economy trumps one with lower taxes and prices and yet yields inclusive economic productivity. Where the average net monthly salary of a Filipino is in the P16,000 plus range, the same in Iceland is approximately P148,000 to P150,000. While it is arguable that the higher compensation is balanced out by the higher cost of living, when all other factors are considered, ceteris paribus, an Icelander’s net purchasing power is still over 122.15 percent higher than a Filipino’s.

How can Icelanders purchase more if their taxes and costs of living are higher? Here’s a peek at one element of economic inclusivity. Monthly private pre-school educational costs per child in the Philippines can cost as much as P19, 600  plus. The same for Iceland would be about P17, 750 -- a substantial reduction.  Their high tax regime effectively lowers complementary costs.

Moreover, Icelanders see that their taxes benefit them and are not lost to corruption. Iceland ranks 14th among the world’s least corrupt nations. The Philippines ranks 101st. 

Scandinavian economies likewise employ a transparent third-party verification system of taxable income as well as a clean, uncomplicated and transparent tax system. Moreover, Iceland’s high taxes are verifiably returned through government subsidies that are directly complementary to work thus incentivizing Icelanders to work even harder and pay their taxes honestly. These are subsidies for education, healthcare, transportation and even child and elder care.

People wouldn’t really mind paying higher taxes if those weren’t stolen and we saw those returned in beneficial ways. That makes all the difference.
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