May 23, 2018, 1:10 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07022 UAE Dirham
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.03427 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46553 Argentine Peso
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07028 Brazilian Real
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1 Philippine Peso = 12.17151 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12202 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.9522 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.70612 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01912 Cuban Peso
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1 Philippine Peso = 3.3891 Djibouti Franc
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.94646 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21398 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25367 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34149 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52008 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01621 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03927 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01423 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01423 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08859 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89503 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 172.06501 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14027 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.93289 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15004 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45428 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11999 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.19751 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.1499 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 271.08987 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06827 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30228 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.63862 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 804.0153 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99809 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.38145 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0135 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.12293 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.91587 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30863 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 77.2065 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.91109 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.20841 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.57725 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00577 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01568 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.29369 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 159.08222 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.77629 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.0153 Sri Lanka Rupee
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.01187 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02595 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18017 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31807 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.99293 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.85086 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.83174 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15455 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.76864 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65679 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29771 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.64149 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37878 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07606 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24208 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.88337 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59598 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15388 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08185 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02752 New Zealand Dollar
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.0627 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
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1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20841 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06955 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 107.60994 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06959 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07495 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.17737 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.18375 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0717 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15039 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26023 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34331 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16581 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02562 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01424 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42459 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.13958 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.7457 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 397.36138 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1673 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.84665 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24215 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61434 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04906 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04426 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08746 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12714 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57119 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.51816 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49847 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.12811 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01912 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59981 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 152.58126 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1501.96941 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 435.35373 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08088 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0494 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.62849 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05163 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.62849 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.92218 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.7782 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24216 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 99.22562 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.91969 Zimbabwe dollar

Killing watersheds, killing life

The simplest, most graphic and perhaps the most eloquent argument against open pit mining is found, not in the voluminous academic dissertations where arguments encompass the spectrum from bludgeoned biodiversity and ravaged ecosystems to the abuse of rights and ancestral domain and the brazen murder of their advocates. It is in a simple satellite photograph of an ongoing mining operation. 

Nothing can be uglier and disturbing. Nothing can be more gruesome and scarier. Indeed nothing shocks as much as a gaping open wound inflicted on Mother Nature, especially when we view the environment under those endearing terms rather than the utilitarian perspective of mining advocates where profit and plus ultra are the principal themes highlighted by screaming exclamation marks that boldly punctuate commercialization and exploitation.

Behind these graphic images of abuse the ever-lengthening litany of criminality underlying the ugliest images are just as horrific. They paint a picture in the darkest and bloodiest tones over an industry that’s profited from the vulnerability and misery of the weakest, the poorest and the most exploited. 

From the violent militarization of peaceful, idyllic and innocent communities to the toxic siltation of farmlands and fishing waters, to recklessly mining atop delicate fault lines and the contamination of ground waters and aquifers that nourish communities, to both the continuing maltreatment and the massacres and heinous killings of indigenous families -- these crimes are shellacked over by questionable economics that says we must pay these prices if we want employment and industrial development.

The sarcasm extends to smart-ass arguments that there will be no cellphones, cars and computers if mining had not existed. There will also be no bullets and bombs. No guns, no gold and no goons - the latter three, essential political weapons wielded by those who now decide the fate of a righteous advocacy.

It is a question of power and money. Unfortunately, money blindsides. The glitter of gold and the sheen of chrome, copper and nickel cast such blinding glares enough to obscure both the eyesight of political animals and the intellect a scant inch behind a politician’s small skull. To complete the hypnotic effect, the incessant pinging of cash registers adds another dimension to monetary temptations that back-burner what are essential.

To be fair, allow us to view what mining’s advocates and beneficiaries see in the immediate vicinity of their political reality as they chorus and refrain economic development while secretly horse-trading away behind closed doors and executive sessions our future.

What are the economic upsides that we should be paying these high prices for the development and employment miners promise?

GDP from mining as of January 2017 was P15 billion. Compare that to agricultural GDP of P174.56 billion. Given that total GDP was $292.45 billion, between an industry that desolates and one that nourishes, agriculture obviously leads to greater economic productivity where returns to capital are higher. Moreover, not only is mining a poor GDP contributor, it ravages agricultural areas which contribute to GDP in exponentially higher degrees.

Mining’s relative contribution to employment is worse. At 0.60 percent or about 236,400 low paying jobs annually, mining’s contribution to equitable and inclusive development relative to its destructive costs, its high capitalization and the fact that its fat profits benefit economies other than ours makes it an altogether bad proposition.

The foregoing are important. More for an economy as vulnerable as ours is and an environment exponentially more fragile and constantly at risk. The differences are stark, almost an issue of black over white, good versus evil, and ultimately, right versus wrong.  More so critical when we consider the millions spent by clandestine interests both as lobby money to deny a good person a good endeavor, and the hidden public relations funding to discredit a qualified public official known for equal amounts of passion, drive, zeal, righteousness and honesty brimming in amounts alien and never-before seen at the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

These are actually understatements to describe DENR Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez when we array what she brings to the DENR against what’s long infested it. As she would probably have it however, our focus is not on her personality but on her programs and her incredible and novel economic paradigm that should forever remain supported and impassioned by righteous indignation as dark forces continue to vilify both advocate and advocacy as they desperately attempt to perpetuate and inflict on both the economy and the environment gaping ulcers on once pristine earth.

Take the $5.9 billion proposal of one politically influential mining conglomerate to inflict on one of the most pristine areas of our endangered planet a gaping cavity carved over our geographical food basket that will the biggest, deepest and most destructive - a hole so wide it dwarfs several football fields.

Natural watersheds underlie the core of Lopez’s exemplary model of economic development, poverty alleviation and genuine inclusive growth. Hers is not the mining model whose $5.9 billion, should these be optionally invested in educational, medical, or even high-value crop communities might benefit Filipinos a thousand times over the profits earned through domestic taxes, employment of disenfranchised farmers and fisherfolk, and the offshore income earned by foreigners when raw ore is exported. 

Go ahead recompute the GDP contribution arithmetic. Lopez’s area development paradigm, which she presented before a decidedly partisan entity with no other gene than the political absent of DNA that produces the brain and the heart and, in its place, growing instead overly developed testicles and gall, takes us through similar arguments mining companies spin to justify their operations. They talk of employment, poverty, welfare and domestic economics. Skillfully, Lopez founds hers on the same albeit with a slew of other factors that focus primarily on protecting the earth’s watersheds thus catalyzing poverty eradication ab initio rather than as an accident of Adam Smith’s invisible hand.

Captioned under Lopez’s own “Killing watersheds, killing life” her advocacy for watersheds should be ours as well.
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