September 22, 2017, 5:50 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07205 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19737 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03473 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33883 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02472 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03508 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03924 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.60624 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03223 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0074 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.03414 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02647 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13537 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06149 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26104 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20051 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 392.78006 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03919 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02419 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01905 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.25231 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12921 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 57.14342 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.22072 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.81263 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42857 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.49225 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12231 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92211 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19774 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25715 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34589 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45831 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01644 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03953 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01454 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01447 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08679 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.87895 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 174.63213 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14311 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.97705 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15314 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45756 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12286 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.19973 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.08986 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 260.48656 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0688 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27132 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.89582 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 658.62271 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.10712 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.56229 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01388 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20489 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02178 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.3433 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.4585 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.05435 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.65745 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.18972 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00592 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01609 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.67785 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 162.84088 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.53698 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.99588 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.29351 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26015 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05981 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01217 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02654 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18329 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34501 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.00647 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.68236 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.14597 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15773 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.0826 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65097 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30135 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.05376 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34969 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08232 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2598 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.92564 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58623 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15332 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01197 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02683 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00755 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06369 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06268 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06494 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07028 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.25171 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07269 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0755 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.13354 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.2576 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07357 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15204 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2669 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13067 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15655 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02649 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01455 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43567 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 147.14538 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.928 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 402.77613 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17167 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.10359 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2598 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64921 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04791 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0432 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06876 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13239 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59217 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.90818 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51422 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 70.57092 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56582 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 158.34804 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19569 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 445.73278 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0155 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04907 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.773 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05297 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.75142 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.95017 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.90386 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25991 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 101.81479 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.10025 Zimbabwe dollar

Regulating the electricity value chain

For many, it was long overdue. The dysfunctionalities at the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) had for too long gone essentially unaddressed even as the accusations of regulatory impropriety within its ranks had gotten worse in inverse proportion to the headlines they created. Perhaps it was a function of public exasperation with a body that seemed unable to do anything right.

In Congress, during the deliberations on the budget of the ERC, it was proposed that the agency’s budget for the coming fiscal be reduced to P1,000.  The message was as clear as day. The slash was punitive. But was the punishment the right penalty? And did it address whatever it is the ERC had for some time been doing wrong?

For the public, afflicted with short memories and a serious propensity to focus only on the simplest sound bytes, few controversies involving the ERC merit seriously rethinking its existence. More so for an agency that is actually more powerful than the Department of Energy from whose ribcage the ERC was taken.

People might remember the investigations on collusion with a distribution utility (DU) way back in December of 2013 when power tariffs suddenly spiked as sources from the Malampaya gas fields went offline and the DU started purchasing power from more expensive generators at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.

Under the Duterte administration, people might remember a sordid story of suicide following controversies on the bidding of an audio-visual project within the ERC. Suspensions were meted out in that controversy. Later instances of insubordination between the Palace and certain ERC officials filled page two of a few broadsheets.

Recently, some sectors blasted the ERC when it authorized negotiated purchases with high cost generators sans open and public bidding.

It is unfortunate that the history of ERC controversies remain largely unresolved, especially where these have systemic negative impacts on the cost of power. Curiously, for the most of these, the controversies involve another equally powerful entity, this time a listed private icon critical to any business enterprise in Luzon. 

The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) exists on the basis of its congressional franchise. Within its DNA, the company has virtual political influences which it has been known to exercise both by virtue of being a monopoly in the franchise area awarded it, and by the sheer size of the corporation itself. 

As a listed company, it is answerable to three basic authorities that do not often agree with one another. First is the franchise-giver which is Congress. The second is the market served by the company. And last, as a corporation, Meralco is answerable to its shareholders.

As a corporation the measures of performance are classic textbook indicators. It seeks to maximize shareholder value and returns on investment. It increases revenues to fatten bottom lines and build up for future fixed asset development and expansion. On these, the company has been exceptionally successful.

As a DU, and a franchise at that, the company operates under given limitations, one of which is the requirement that it source power from “least cost” providers.

By analyzing the importance that Meralco plays in the electricity value chain that the ERC regulates we can appreciate the frustration of Congress that led it to punish the ERC with measures that practically abolish it.

For one, the services provided by Meralco account for what may possibly be the largest operating expense item in the income statement of almost any business enterprise covered by Meralco’s franchise.

Indulge us some simplicity. Meralco distributes the electrons passed on from those who generate it and those who transmit it. The entities who generate lie largely unregulated while those who transmit and those who distribute have to pass through the ERC. Keeping in mind the concept of regulatory capture, this simple analysis of the electricity value chain shows were margins are unregulated and can therefore be the widest relative to regulated viabilities. This also shows why any links among generators, transmission companies and the DUs should be separate and distinct. More important, it shows why collusion and connivance create conspiracies where profits shift around through effective but hidden transfer pricing protocols and therefore pass easily up and down the chain.

Because regulation plays a critical role in delineating both functions and financials in the value chain,  we can see where the ERC might be remiss should it allow negotiated and un-challenged contractual relationships among different entities in the value chain, specifically between a virtual monopoly like Meralco and its unregulated generators. Moreover, regulation rather than negotiation becomes increasingly critical given the tariffs paid by the public for the energy provided by each player in the electricity value chain.

What controversies envelope the ERC recently are questions of both market power and market abuse. It is not the reported issues of over-priced audiovisual contracts, or the question of expertise and qualifications, or its lack, among its politically-appointed commissioners. It is not even about the insubordination charges leveled against its officers by the Executive Branch.

Rather, it is connivance that leads to market abuse and are akin to economic sabotage where prohibitive and unjust tariffs amounting to millions inflicted on the public result from collusion and conspiratorial greed. Since December 2013, there have been several instances of market abuse, all on the level of economic sabotage. Most are unfortunately unresolved to this day.
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