October 19, 2017, 5:59 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.0717 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20871 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03475 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33813 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0248 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03475 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03905 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.57731 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03233 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00736 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.79539 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01952 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02637 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13393 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0616 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01952 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2666 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19953 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 390.86294 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.039 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02447 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01905 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.09684 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12863 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 57.20812 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.07243 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01952 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.82351 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42558 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.46544 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12309 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92112 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21712 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25865 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3441 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52519 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01653 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0399 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01467 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01471 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08578 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.91761 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 173.50644 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14337 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.9752 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15244 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45638 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12402 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.19621 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.08551 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 263.17844 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0682 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26328 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.78407 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 667.88363 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04705 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.48653 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01381 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.1829 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01386 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.33715 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 78.73877 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.09352 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.57126 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.9875 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00589 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01601 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.51054 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 161.47403 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.39672 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.99785 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.29988 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25908 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05952 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01212 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02662 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18372 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33809 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.01269 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.59117 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 47.89145 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.157 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.04803 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65892 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3034 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.98223 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37125 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0823 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25884 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.89184 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59176 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15391 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0285 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02714 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00751 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01952 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06338 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06228 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.05076 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07005 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 109.88871 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07106 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07576 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.11582 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.21398 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07321 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15248 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26667 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13003 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15841 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02638 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01468 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43354 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 148.77001 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.91371 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 405.15812 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17083 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.05428 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25884 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64526 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04826 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04364 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07093 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13039 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58821 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.69387 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51738 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.10504 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01952 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57321 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 156.77469 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19475 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 443.49862 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03026 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0495 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.83639 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05271 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.75752 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.96193 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.87895 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.259 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 101.31784 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.0656 Zimbabwe dollar

Iceland’s resilient independence

REYKJAVIK, Iceland - Iceland is a fantastically resilient nation literally forged in fire and ice, and hardened into jagged rock and burned black lava. The landscape is unearthly. Within an hour it can be windblown and gusty, scorched by the sun and drenched by freezing rain all in one place. Its mountains are capped by pristine glaciers slowly cascading down magnificent crisscrossing waterfalls that cut through the great continental crack separating the Eurasian tectonic plates from the North American. Here, trees are sparse, replaced by gigantic boulders of hardened lava with thin coats of green and white moss. The rock-scape is interrupted only where powerful geysers break through spewing skyscraper-high fountains of steam from bedrock pockmarked by huge craters of bubbling and boiling earth and mud.

Iceland is perhaps the most beautiful island nation created when time began by nature’s most violent forces.

Its people, descended from the Vikings, are likewise, but they are today blessed with extraordinary warmth and pleasantness. While fundamentally resilient as are Filipinos, in some ways Icelanders did not descend into apathetic callousness. They have found a way to resurrect, learn, and, avoid undisciplined, incessant and repetitive self-inflicted folly.

They are survivors albeit victims of greed and politics as are we. If Filipinos can be described as resilient bamboo reeds, today’s Icelanders are metaphorically magnificent Viking Ulfberht swords -- sharp and hardened -- hammered from the 2008 global financial crisis that saw Iceland fall from the weight of its national debt, and then desperately seeking bankruptcy relief.

The Icelanders are, however, not the only phoenixes resurrected from modern day folly. Had partisan politics not brazenly interfered and then quickly supplanted by military adventurism and martial law where parliaments and judiciaries might characteristically be rubber stamps, Thailand’s economic recovery might have been more productive. 

It’s been a decade since Bangkok in July, 1997. The then Thai economy succumbed to attacks from marauding currency speculators as well as imploded from humongous debt hinged on artificially propped baht values consistent with the Asian miracle at the time. 

After a devastating crash that quickly travelled to as far away as Argentina Thailand’s creditors went to work. Their default palliative was a cocktail of fiscal impositions mixed with additional credit -- a prescription that has yet to work on its own through repeated applications in other economies from Iceland to Greece.

The Thais were forced to contract even more debt made exponentially expensive after 1997 by a hollowed out baht. Given the Thai economy is a Philippine doppelgänger, curiously the baht has not only recovered but is now stronger than the peso. Simply track its steep rise relative to the peso in the last 180 days. Mysteriously, as the US dollar rationalized, all other currencies strengthened save for the Philippine peso.

Encounters with Thai businessmen, whether a tuk-tuk operator or an investment banker, reveal their secret. Thais washed their bitter medicine down with mega-doses of hard work. Imagine how much more they might have achieved had they not fallen into the toxic pit of martial law.

Iceland’s experience is even more awe-inspiring. Declaring bankruptcy after investing heavily in collateralized debt obligations (CDO) largely comprised of the US midwestern debts pooled by American investment bankers from toxic assets and marketed to economies as Iceland’s, the eventual crash in CDO values left Iceland in tatters.

Investment banking spawned from private banking that financed Iceland’s fishing fleets exposed Iceland to globalization. Succumbing to imported asset-backed securities was a one-off mistake. The country is fiercely independent and since 2008 Icelanders rediscovered they should never be beholden to anyone.

Determined to get out of a rut, Icelanders worked hard, raised taxes and prices on everything, assured these had real value to consumers and, to the extent possible, ensured products and services were all local. 

Independence is at the core of Iceland’s resilience, especially critical because of their harsh but majestic environment. Vegetables and fruits are grown in greenhouses due to the thin layer of soil and sparseness of trees. Underneath are molten rock so water comes from mountaintop glaciers. Thus Icelanders are fiercely protective against pollution and global warming. So there are no fossil-fired power plants.

Fishing is their principal industry so the Icelanders recognize the criticality of keeping surrounding waters clean.

Iceland’s youth continues to pay for previous mistakes but they accept the necessity of the highest taxes on the planet. VAT is 24 percent. Personal ITR, up to 46.30 percent. Rather than whine they aggressively boost the economy by secretly working as early as 15  to propel consumerism and ensure jobs remain local. Iceland’s 15 to 24-year old unemployment rate is 7.1 percent. Its total unemployed is amazingly 2.4 percent. 

On trade and industry, Icelanders take it seriously that both labor and goods are totally Icelandic thus avoiding forex exposures and the predatory kindness of strangers.

Exemplified through Halldor Laxness’s 1955 Nobel prize-winning book “Independent People” on the story of Bjartur, an Icelandic shepherd and his daughter, each struggling to be un-beholden, Iceland’s is not resilience based on a lazy happiness index, surrender or undisciplined albeit contented complacency. There is neither learning nor growth from those. Laxness wrote, “The history of the centuries is the history of an independent man who grapples with a spectre which bears a new and ever newer name.” Iceland’s amazing resilience is based on independence, discipline, true-grit and hard work.
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