May 26, 2018, 8:22 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06987 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04394 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03405 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46707 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02507 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03386 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03804 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.58684 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03178 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00718 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.30759 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02521 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13049 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06941 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2997 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18862 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 380.82557 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.038 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02456 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01888 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.92087 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1215 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.23245 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.69241 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.79018 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41871 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.37645 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12092 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.9416 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20987 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25394 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33993 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51779 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01623 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03907 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01422 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01425 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08823 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89024 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 171.23835 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13955 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.93875 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14924 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45305 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11993 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23264 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.18261 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 268.49914 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06761 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28921 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.52235 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 800.64676 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.00476 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.38368 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01348 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08195 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.91839 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2975 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 77.23036 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.96595 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.12003 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.46376 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00575 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0156 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.24805 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 158.41735 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.6285 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.00552 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.59102 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23569 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05799 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0118 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02586 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18008 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31929 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.99391 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.77516 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.76412 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15373 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.73388 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65627 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29618 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.63553 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37196 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07566 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23683 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.82899 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59717 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15404 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06962 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02745 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00732 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0621 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06201 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19897 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06975 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 108.10348 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06924 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0751 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.17631 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.13468 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07134 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15092 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25547 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34155 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16566 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02546 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01422 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42241 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.32471 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.69051 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 397.78391 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16644 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.79608 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23678 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60662 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0483 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04363 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08961 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1286 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56886 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.27563 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49705 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.0291 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5933 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 151.83565 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1494.25528 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 433.30797 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03595 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04914 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.63667 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05136 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.63667 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.926 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.75366 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23681 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 98.716 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.88415 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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