January 23, 2018, 10:00 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07248 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.15117 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03513 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37432 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02466 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03513 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03947 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.63391 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0315 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00743 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.55654 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01974 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02619 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13539 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06307 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01974 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.25863 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19114 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 395.1056 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03943 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02465 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01899 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.98717 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12629 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 56.09039 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.14821 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01974 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.78074 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.40983 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.49517 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12017 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94356 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.24754 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25256 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34873 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.537 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01614 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03952 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01423 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01424 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08955 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95481 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 177.50149 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14478 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.06335 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15424 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4645 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11993 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2536 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.98796 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 262.6801 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06734 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2595 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.36688 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 722.49855 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02684 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.44306 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01395 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.18305 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02388 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.36803 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.05665 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.11131 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.76199 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.05013 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00592 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01618 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.40616 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 163.40439 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.70989 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.03631 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.51372 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24018 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06017 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01225 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02645 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1822 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33221 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.99072 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.54431 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 47.6416 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15887 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.94691 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64535 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3059 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.08092 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36718 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07768 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24178 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.06532 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6045 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15516 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01397 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02711 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00759 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01974 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06337 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06241 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.17782 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06737 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 110.75588 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07183 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07523 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.11021 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.49398 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07401 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15294 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26317 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13811 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15903 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02605 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01423 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43825 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 150.5822 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.09138 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 395.67793 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17269 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.16341 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24082 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.62838 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04813 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04392 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07512 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1331 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57902 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.22736 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56937 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.46241 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01974 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56325 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 160.3513 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19686 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 447.97712 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03691 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0496 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.5818 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05329 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.49813 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.92441 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.9329 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24034 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.41761 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.14229 Zimbabwe dollar

Power of the people

MANICANI is a small, 1,000-hectare island off the western coast of Guiuan Municipality in Eastern Samar. For those not too schooled in Philippine geography, Guiuan is the southernmost town in what may be the easternmost province of the Philippines - so much so that when Super Typhoon Yolanda made landfall at around 4 a.m. on November 8 four years ago, it was Guiuan (and not Tacloban City) that was Ground Zero.

Guiuan - and Manicani Island - was left looking like a sister city of Hiroshima after Yolanda was done. I saw that for myself because I landed in Guiuan’s old airstrip in the morning of November 12 just four days after the disaster.

On Manicani Island, all of the 500 houses were destroyed, almost all totally, a few lucky ones partially. As a way of helping its residents, Hinatuan Mining Corporation (or HMC, a fully owned subsidiary of NAC, Nickel Asia Corporation) pledged to rebuild every single housing unit whether the owner was pro- or anti-mining. You see, Manicani is one of the many islands on the eastern side of the Philippines that is nickel-rich, and HMC has a mining claim on the island.

I know this by heart. It was NAC’s bosses who sent me to Guiuan on November 12 with a planeload of doctors and medicines to see what immediate help we could provide.

From November 2013 to today, a lot has been done on Manicani by HMC as part of its CSR programs while its operations are on care and maintenance mode. For a few months in 2015 island residents were able to earn about P6 million per month when HMC shipped out part of the stockpile of low grade ore that is piled up on the island thanks to old operations. At the same time a basketball league among the four island Barangays resulted in the construction of covered courts for all of them, as prizes for their rankings in two successive seasons.

No wonder when the Barangays convened assemblies to inquire about public support for the idea of renewal of mining operations, the four Barangays turned in overwhelming majorities of 85% and up in favor of the idea.

But here’s the rub. Anti mining advocates including the handful of island residents who were outvoted by the majority are determined to block the renewal of mining on Manicani. Together with the Diocese of Borongan — distantly located about 200 kilometers north of the island — they are determined to “free” the islanders from mining and “preserve” the environment. The message is the “meager” returns from mining will not make up for the environmental damage mining will bring.

Immediately it becomes clear. It doesn’t matter to the anti groups what the people of Manicani really want. They have made their sentiments known and known in an overwhelming fashion. Was this an uneducated decision? No - because many island residents including students were shown how NAC operations in Rio Tuba (Palawan) are a model for mine rehabilitation - something a succession of DENR secretaries have acknowledged. Convinced, the residents voted in favor of mining. Overwhelmingly. So who are the anti mining groups to insist otherwise?

Come to think of it, even if the decision of the majority was an uneducated one, the principle of “majority rule” in a democracy implies that the minority gives way. Vox Populi, Vox Dei, right? Well, not for anti mining clergy, I guess.

Subsidiarity is a principle that is sacred to those who believe in self determination, in allowing people to decide for themselves what is good for them.. It is also linked to the principle of majority rule as discussed, and together make a strong case for respecting what the islanders want, whatever it is they want. Had they decided against mining, no one has the right to force mining on them; but the reverse is also true - having decided for mining, who are we to force them to reject the industry?

But that’s what NGOs and elements of the Catholic Church in Eastern Samar seem to want to do. To throw majority rule and subsidiarity out the window and impose their will. Forget the six million in monthly earnings! Better stay poor!

Power to the people? Nah. It’s power to themselves.

Enough of this tyranny by a noisy minority. Let the people who matter be heard and whatever their views, let them be respected!
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