February 20, 2018, 6:03 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07035 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03736 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0341 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37852 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02417 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0341 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03831 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.58755 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03006 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00722 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.54368 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02532 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13142 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06189 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.22893 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18046 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 383.5249 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03827 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02404 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01774 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.3659 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12153 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.27203 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.83966 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.70268 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.39128 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.38755 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.115 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93544 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.16856 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24138 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33716 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52165 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01543 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03813 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01366 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01366 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08656 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89866 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 172.37548 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14054 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.9364 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14982 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45019 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11447 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.21437 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.80326 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 259.67432 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06787 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23063 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.68199 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 709.84673 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.91667 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.39444 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01355 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03307 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.93774 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30544 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 76.53257 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.57567 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.24138 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.41552 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00573 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01571 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.12088 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 158.62069 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.83908 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.97165 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.44272 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22308 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0584 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01189 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02534 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17539 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31734 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.9454 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.42146 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.82375 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15425 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.68582 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61303 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29828 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.66743 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35467 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07454 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22274 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.87739 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59195 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14901 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 1.96697 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02593 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00737 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06225 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06025 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11398 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0642 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.68774 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06973 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07198 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.08044 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.10153 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07184 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14875 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25546 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34393 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15255 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02511 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01367 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4254 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 146.16858 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.76628 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 378.35439 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16762 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.86552 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22276 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59923 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04546 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04238 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07167 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12904 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.55669 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.02682 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51715 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 69.38697 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54521 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 156.47509 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 477.73945 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 434.75095 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01916 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04802 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.11303 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05172 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.11303 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.81628 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.78831 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22279 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 99.41571 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.93295 Zimbabwe dollar

South Korean investors

MY heart skips a bit whenever I learn of the appointment of a political ambassador to one of our diplomatic posts abroad. This is because I used to be a member of the career Foreign Service corps in a previous incarnation. 
After going through the most difficult and rigorous government examination there is, the Foreign Service Officer examination, it is but natural for a successful examinee to aspire for and hope that one day, after some twenty years later, s/he would be appointed as an ambassador even to the most difficult post abroad. In many cases, this dream remained unrealized because of the appointment of so many political ambassadors.
There are posts that are “traditionally” given to political appointees such as the one in Washington. Other “juicy” posts like the UN in New York, Beijing, Tokyo, London and other capitals in Western Europe like Budapest, Lisbon, Prague and Rome have at one time or another been manned by political appointees. To be fair, some of them were good but others certainly were not. Often, the suspicion is that some of them allegedly got their appointments for millions of reasons, so to speak.
I, for one, concede that this practice is perhaps unavoidable for political or other considerations. However, as I have been advocating over the years, there are posts that must be manned by trained, experienced and deserving professionals only – like those in Asean capitals and permanent missions to the UN.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong has already named political ambassadors to Myanmar and Singapore. Fortunately, the one named for Brunei did not make it through the Commission on Appointments.

‘ANAK NG DIYOS’

Of late, the Foreign Office is abuzz with informal information (alright, call it rumor) that a retired, later recycled as the incumbent undersecretary for administration, is eying the post in Argentina. This was after a couple of also retired and recycled career officers were relieved from their position as undersecretaries in the Department.
This informal information, if it turns out to be true and the person concerned is appointed, will make my heart skip a bit too. She would then belong to the genre of political ambassadors.
This retired officer has been derisively referred to as “anak ng Diyos” during her entire career in the Department. She had always gotten what she wanted in terms of postings abroad and in the Home Office. For what reason, nobody seems to know, except that she belongs “kuno” to a well-connected political family.
Foreign Secretary Alan Cayetano may wish to take note of this. If this retired officer again gets what she wants, it will definitely cause demoralization in the Department. 
In a previous column, I pleaded with Digong to “please do not destroy the Foreign Service”. I wish to reiterate that plea.

SOUTH KOREAN
INVESTORS

A bit of disturbing news that did not seem to have caught the attention of the relevant government authorities is the recent revelation of the Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines president Ho Ik Lee.
Many Korean companies, according to Lee, are leaving the country for a couple of reasons – the higher cost of doing business and the lack of incentives in the country. They have begun to close down their Philippine offices to transfer to Vietnam. Ouch!
What Lee did not mention, perhaps so as not to embarrass us, is the lack of infrastructure and the problem of corruption, particularly in the Bureau of Customs (BOC). A couple of South Korean friends, both businessmen, have told me that the number of signatures and documents required at the BOC is horrendous, not to mention the red tape they encounter in other relevant government agencies. 
I have seen how Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand caught up with us and even surpassed us. And now Vietnam too?! 
I am almost certain that firms from other countries with investments here are also experiencing the same woes. Pretty soon, they too will start leaving if we do not address the problems they encounter pronto.
Speaking of the South Koreans, have you seen how they deal with corruption? 
Witness how swiftly they recently deposed a president for alleged corruption! 
And the heir of the gigantic firm, Samsung, being sent to jail for five years for bribery!
The pace with which they dispense justice, regardless of the political position or financial status of individuals involved, is truly phenomenal compared to the glacial pace of our justice system.

MEDDLING
FOREIGNERS… AGAIN!

The news report that three representatives of the so-called Council for Asian Liberals and Democrats visited incarcerated Sen. Leila de Lima made me curse ala Digong.
To begin with, why were they allowed to visit De Lima? What business is it of theirs to tell us what to do with her? Such a thing will never happen in any Asean country, for instance. 
Listen to what one of these nitwits had to say: “We have a lot of respect for her (De Lima) and, of course, we talked to many Filipinos and we think that she has been treated very unjustly and we do not know why she is in detention. She is the people’s representative.”
What???!!! 
 “We talked to many Filipinos” – How many? How long did they stay here?
 “We do not know why she is in detention.” - What the heck! They don’t even know why after talking to “many Filipinos”?!
 “She is the people’s representative.” – Have they read or heard of “many Filipinos” protesting her incarceration. 
I believe the government should henceforth not allow any meddling foreigner to visit or much less interview De Lima. 

BAUTISTA, MORALES
AND SERENO

All of a sudden, there seems to be a news blackout on the impeachment case against Comelec chairman Andres Bautista. What gives?
And now, there is the impeachment case against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. 
If both cases prosper in the House of Representatives, the Senate, for the first time in its history, will have to deal with two impeachment cases. Maybe even three. The Volunteer Against Crime and Corruption says it will soon file an impeachment case against Ombudsman Conchita Morales.
I guess that would be better than having to watch and listen to the vaudevillian spectacle that has been inordinately inflicted on us for the last two weeks on the Bureau of Customs fiasco. 
Puro na lang hearings in both chambers in aid of legislation, kuno. Wala namang nangyayari. Our honorable legislators should for a change busy themselves with doing work more deserving of their time and effort – yes, such as impeaching unworthy constitutional officers.
*** 
Today is the 123rd day of the eleventh year of the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos, son of the late press icon and founder of this newspaper.
The family and friends of Jonas hope that the Duterte administration will exert serious efforts to find and haul the perpetrators of Jonas’ disappearance to justice.
*** 
From an internet friend:
An elderly couple, Margaret and Bert, moved to Wyoming, Bert always wanted a pair of authentic cowboy boots, so, seeing some on sale, he bought them and wore them home. Walking proudly, he sauntered into the kitchen and said to his wife, “Notice anything different about me?” 
Margaret looked him over, “Nope.” Frustrated, Bert stormed off into the bathroom, undressed and walked back into the kitchen completely naked except for the boots. 
Again he asked Margaret, a little louder this time, “Notice anything different now?” 
Margaret looked up and said in her best deadpan, “Bert, what’s different? It’s hanging down today, it was hanging down yesterday, it’ll be hanging down tomorrow.” 
Furious, Bert yelled, “And do you know why it’s hanging down?”
“Nope, not a clue”, she replied.
“It’s hanging down, because it’s looking at my new boots!
Without missing a beat Margaret replied, “Shoulda bought a hat, Bert, shoulda bought a hat...” 
*** 
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