August 19, 2017, 8:48 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07443 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.4017 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03628 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.32436 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02723 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03626 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04054 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.63579 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03534 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00763 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.60377 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02797 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13904 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06579 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30624 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20692 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 405.75598 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04049 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02733 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01952 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 13.57175 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13799 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 58.59343 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.43535 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.98075 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.47231 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.59951 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13357 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95278 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19181 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.28109 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36583 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46433 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01797 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04244 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01573 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01572 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08685 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.91021 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 182.75233 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1491 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.14512 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15784 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.47422 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13229 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24625 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.54195 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 269.57844 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07211 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30521 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.93595 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 657.62059 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.9771 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.6139 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01433 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.23666 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0906 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.38113 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 81.57681 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 9.12404 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 18.24078 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.6366 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00614 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01662 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.364 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 166.08836 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 30.51277 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.08877 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 1.84435 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25922 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06179 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01258 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02821 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19642 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36735 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.09972 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.52331 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.27726 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16258 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.25578 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.70024 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31394 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.54094 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37863 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08672 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2604 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.52615 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59972 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17055 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08654 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02835 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00779 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06622 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06654 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11897 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0753 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 112.82935 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0738 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08196 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.14766 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.61897 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.076 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16004 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26836 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13498 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17451 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02797 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01573 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45006 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 152.00649 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.08634 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 435.85326 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17678 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.43737 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26014 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6897 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04917 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04647 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0711 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13537 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61011 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 45.17633 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53223 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.78071 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57377 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 77.82732 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20216 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 459.54601 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.18241 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05201 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 11.77483 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05472 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 11.82205 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.13174 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 5.06546 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25921 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 105.17835 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.33482 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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