October 17, 2017, 11:45 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

The portfolio of environmental plunderers

It makes sense for presidents enamored with brusque and muscular authoritarianism to assign a fragile, sensitive and delicate portfolio such as that of the secretary of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to either a military man or one trained in law enforcement accustomed to chains of command, the use of force and a largely vertical hierarchy that leaves very little room for democratic latitude, reasoning and debate. 

The need for testosterone is understandable. Where criminality is so widespread in far flung hinterlands, crooks among the richest, and government officials conflicted if not complicit with ravagers, the task at the DENR involves policing the most remote boondocks and the sticks against illegal loggers and destructive miners. The latter are, after all, well entrenched among the most powerful feudal fiefdoms and domestic dynasties who recognize no law save those from the barrel of a gun.

The criminality that challenges the DENR is not confined to the destruction of the environment. It includes the massacres of the innocent and the killings of environmental advocates, lumads and villagers standing in the way of profits.

The power these criminals wield is only occasionally visible in the chambers of the legislature and the corridors of the Executive Branch where money talks just as loud as the gunfire heard along mountain trails denuded by their greed and ravaged by their avarice. The millions spent on lobbying is as fatal as the alliances bought by moneyed miners and loggers to purchase and form into private armies the local official state militia culled from the ranks of the country’s legitimate armed forces.

The tendency then is to appoint at the DENR a lieutenant just as bold if not bolder than the environmental criminals. Someone with brass balls, wielding big sticks.

In recent history we have had two “good soldiers” at the DENR directly predicated by a martial culture regardless of their experience, qualifications, or even competence. It would appear that those latter three qualities which the public would naturally imagine as supremely critical are less important. So also are subordinated a profound sense of justice, a love of both the environment and the people directly affected by it, and a keen and forward-looking sense of the economic contributions that a living, breathing and protected environment can deliver to communities festering under the yoke of poverty and commercial exploitation.

This subordination has brought Philippine environmental management to the sorry state it is in.

Under the Arroyo administration the DENR appointee had been the former secretary of the Department of National Defense. One of the significant developments during his posting was to create interest en masse for foreign mining companies in exploiting our natural resources. However well-intentioned that today remains a continuing controversy involving unconscionable offshore earnings at the expense of domestic environmental costs some consider as virtual pillaging.

Arroyo’s appointee held sequentially, each in an acting capacity, two other portfolios at the Department of the Interior and Local Governments and the Department of Energy (DOE). While never confirmed on any of these, his DENR appointment made sense. The armed forces, the police and local government officials are either complicit or conspiratorial on environmental concerns. On the DOE, continuously increasing toxic killer coal in the fuel mix is an on-going debate given the global warming issue. Indeed law enforcement and local government management are integral to the DENR’s  job.

Following brazen corporate lobbying against the impactful “Heart and Mind” policies of former Secretary Regina Paz  Lopez, we again have an ex-soldier manning DENR’s gates. 

Greeted with virtual dancing in the boardrooms of mining companies, loggers and power producers, within weeks reports of toxic mercury poisoning broke out.

As a response the new DENR secretary simply formed a task force. That woefully fails to appreciate the profound reality where mercury poisoning represents the endemic criminality continuously inflicted by miners whether they are green-washed as responsible during the their operations or are set free and unaccountable after their mines close down and a statute of limitations lapses.

In Palawan, an abandoned mercury mine continues to poison fish, livestock and people. Reports say residents of at least two villages with a total population of over 10,000 continue to suffer from mercury poisoning from their exposure to mine tailings and from feeding from mercury-contaminated marine food.

Note that 10,000 innocents poisoned is exponentially more than even large multinational mining companies can employ during its “responsible mining” operations. Even when we factor-in economic multipliers.

In the abandoned mine the principal sources of the poisoning are the exposed remnant ores, a three-hectare pit and landfills from which seepage contaminates aquifers and drains out to a bay that hosts over a million tourists yearly. Imagine an unrecognized crisis of epidemic proportions.

The criminality inflicted by such mines perpetuates long after the last dollar spent by politicians purchased with lobby money. These cannot be solved by forming an ad hoc task force.

The vetting model that justifies appointing unqualified one-dimensional enforcers at the DENR needs to be revisited. We do not need task forces quickly assembled to address short term needs. The Palawan mercury mine has been poisoning for over seventy years. Neither do we need gatekeepers nor night-watchmen. Otherwise the criminal exploitation of critical resources perpetuates as does the fatal victimization of our weakest and most impoverished communities.
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