November 19, 2017, 11:06 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07227 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.22452 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03503 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34355 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02607 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03503 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03935 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.64187 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0327 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00742 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.29713 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02667 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13499 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0645 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28247 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20681 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 393.93939 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03931 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02511 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01951 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.40988 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13051 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 59.13813 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.08422 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.83943 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42677 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.47954 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12411 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94451 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.25075 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2609 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34652 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53227 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01667 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04117 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0149 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01491 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0895 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92483 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 177.2137 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14447 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.05313 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15372 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46232 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12613 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.21291 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.19481 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 266.09603 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06915 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27847 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.9634 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 693.36875 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02755 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.47068 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01392 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21558 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03994 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.37194 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.10272 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.33333 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.70956 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.5429 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00594 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01614 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.52952 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 163.2625 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.73239 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.02145 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.44392 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27873 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05999 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01221 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02676 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18535 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34406 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.02145 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.82015 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.01181 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15831 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.91558 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.66706 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30638 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.09681 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37473 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08186 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27564 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.02479 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60232 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16201 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03758 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02897 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00757 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06374 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06312 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.07261 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07062 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.06651 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07477 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07746 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.16854 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.37721 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07379 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15368 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26269 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13104 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16586 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02669 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01491 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43695 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.94097 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.99961 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 408.72688 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17218 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.13341 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2756 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64542 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04872 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04538 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07647 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13045 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59144 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.97875 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52076 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.36954 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57989 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 158.20543 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19628 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 446.89099 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.12515 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05043 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.9329 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05313 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.93861 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.9754 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.91834 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27568 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.11531 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.12121 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.
Rating: 
Average: 5 (4 votes)

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‘This is the issue of the general public’s grasp of what it means for our country to be part of a greater, regional association of nations.’

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