June 23, 2018, 9:17 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06901 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02912 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03401 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5072 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02524 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03345 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03758 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.57159 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03155 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00712 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 32.90079 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01879 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02526 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1289 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07111 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01879 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28053 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19402 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 376.17437 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03754 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02493 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01856 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.99061 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12218 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.75385 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.57591 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01879 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.77772 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41526 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.33615 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12016 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92728 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.1963 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25225 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33484 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51146 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01612 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03918 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01416 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01417 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08979 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.87956 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 169.07178 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14072 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.87599 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14741 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44878 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11882 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24803 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.23224 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 264.43067 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06764 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27568 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.24728 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 798.38407 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03119 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.45509 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01333 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06417 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.89121 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28183 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 76.00526 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.92522 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 16.91094 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.86622 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00568 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01541 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.38595 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 158.00451 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.292 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.98572 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.74709 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25254 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05728 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01166 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02548 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1786 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3177 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.98891 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.98647 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.97896 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15183 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.67042 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65295 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29256 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.4053 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37584 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07518 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25239 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.72679 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59207 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15205 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03401 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02719 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00723 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01879 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06134 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0609 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.28222 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06966 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.55769 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06839 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07509 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.18236 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 15.96073 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07046 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1479 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25235 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33738 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16635 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02551 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01417 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41725 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.94363 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.72905 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 394.98309 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16441 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.67644 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25202 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61856 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04882 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04333 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08786 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12682 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56924 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 42.63435 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49267 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.51597 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01879 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59451 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 147.50094 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1499.4363 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 430.10147 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.07159 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0488 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.56614 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05073 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.56614 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.92165 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.69466 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25241 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 97.51033 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.80008 Zimbabwe dollar

The return of tobacco taxes

Last year, when the issue of tobacco excise taxes entered the public debate within the congressional deliberations for the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), the proposal for a substantive and meaningful increase was prosecuted along two areas. One was as a health measure. The other as a substantial revenue source. Where nobler ends are the objective, it is obvious where between the two these lie. Both sides had their own advocates and champions. Anti-smoking health advocates came fully prepared. Mostly comprised of professionals from the medical community, their proposal for an incremental excise was based on a slew of multidimensional factors that each quantified the minimum level an incremental excise would affect the demand for a “sin” product whose effects resembled slow, expensive and excruciating suicide. Alongside the health “warriors,” the advocates of the excise included in their economic model the tobacco industry’s contribution to employment, its prorated contribution to the fiscal coffers, and its prospective foreign exchange earnings. Among other considerations were productivity losses from tobacco users, increased health care costs as well as tariffs and duties on inbound competitive products and lost revenues from unmitigated smuggling. That those championing the incremental increase centered on economics were substantially government agencies compared to health advocates would have an effect on the eventual outcome. Simply read up on the Philippine tobacco industry and its superpower lobby group. One easily realizes which among the advocacy groups would be most pliable. The eventual tobacco tax in TRAIN is the most eloquent example of the vulnerabilities between the two. The tax intake admittedly increased government revenues but the other side of the story from the perspective of health advocates tells of failure and an aggravated situation. We suspect that the number of Filipinos who die from tobacco-related diseases has hardly changed from 150,000 a year. Thus the objective of an incremental excise on tobacco products was to control its use and protect the public from a deadly poison. This was the way tobacco excise tax increases were packaged under former Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares when tobacco excises were first reviewed. The incremental excise proved to be successful as it had touched on usage elasticities where demand had fallen moderately. Unfortunately, when the peso had regained its purchasing power over the years, so had the impact of excises on demand diluted. The same objectives of regulating usage were declared when TRAIN was being deliberated. The disturbing reality is that what government is today against what government was, especially in the area of the common good, is as different as night is from day. The eventual excise on tobacco products under TRAIN last year is a case in point. The House version then had no intentions to increase the excise on tobacco. That was understandable. Lobbies were more effective there. Not as much at the Senate. The Senate entertained proposals to increase the tax but eventually did not include anything in their version. That would come later albeit under suspicious if not illegal circumstances. An insidious and illegal insertion was slipped in at the bicameral level for a token P2.50 per pack. As all tax measures must originate from the House of Representatives and there approved by its plenary an insertion at the bicameral committee level insidiously written-in without passing House public debate, scrutiny and ratification is illegal. Worse, the incremental tax inserted was far below the 60 percent increase calculated to reduce the number of smokers following tobacco’s price elasticities. Obviously the lawmaker who slipped in the token P2.50 tax either does not understand his economics or had an agenda pandering to vested interests. The total excise tax with the TRAIN-additive is currently P32.50 from a pre-TRAIN level of P30. When TRAIN was being deliberated last year the level of proposed excise to reduce usage was an incremental 60 percent to bring the total excise to at least P234.09, a cost prohibitive enough for elasticities to kick in and actually start reducing deadly and fatal tobacco usage. This July as Congress is set to revisit and possibly introduce more tax reforms note the scheduled increase in tobacco excise taxes. From the current P32.50 the tobacco excise is set to increase to P35 until December 2019. That’s still a far cry from the price elastic level where consumption falls significantly. The succeeding increases are similarly as anemic. From 2020 to 2021, the TRAIN-based increase will simply be an additional P2.50, and from 2022 to 2023, a token increment of another P2.50. Do the math. Compute for time values using an inflation rate of 4 percent that effectively devalued the staggered P2.50 increments. Three quarters of a decade from the P30 excise level and the effective increase remains below a third of the original desired. Far from the price elastic level of a 60 percent increase for 2018. Our lawmakers should really stop lying to us. It was never about health was it? It’s obvious they’ve surrendered to the powerful tobacco lobby.
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