November 20, 2017, 3:55 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07227 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.22452 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03503 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34355 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02607 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03503 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03935 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.64187 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0327 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00742 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.29713 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02667 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13499 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0645 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28247 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20681 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 393.93939 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03931 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02511 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01951 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.40988 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13051 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 59.13813 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.08422 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.83943 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42677 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.47954 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12411 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94451 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.25075 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2609 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34652 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53227 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01667 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04117 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0149 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01491 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0895 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92483 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 177.2137 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14447 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.05313 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15372 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46232 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12613 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.21291 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.19481 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 266.09603 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06915 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27847 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.9634 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 693.36875 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02755 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.47068 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01392 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21558 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03994 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.37194 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.10272 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.33333 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.70956 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.5429 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00594 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01614 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.52952 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 163.2625 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.73239 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.02145 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.44392 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27873 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05999 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01221 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02676 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18535 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34406 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.02145 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.82015 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.01181 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15831 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.91558 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.66706 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30638 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.09681 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37473 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08186 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27564 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.02479 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60232 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16201 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03758 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02897 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00757 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06374 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06312 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.07261 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07062 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.06651 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07477 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07746 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.16854 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.37721 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07379 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15368 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26269 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13104 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16586 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02669 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01491 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43695 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.94097 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.99961 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 408.72688 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17218 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.13341 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2756 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64542 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04872 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04538 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07647 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13045 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59144 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.97875 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52076 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.36954 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57989 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 158.20543 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19628 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 446.89099 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.12515 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05043 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.9329 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05313 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.93861 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.9754 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.91834 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27568 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.11531 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.12121 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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