Thursday, May 3, 2012

Why the Philippines is Far Behind Singapore

Hello from Singapore! I'm currently here on a two-week business trip, my first ever official international trip working for HP. Having been here for five days, it has once again dawned on me how the Philippines is very much far from Singapore in many ways. And yes, it's saddening.


The people here are so disciplined. They do not throw trash just anywhere, but only in the waste cans located in the right areas. People cross roads in the correct pedestrian lanes (when there's one available) and not just where they want to. There are few crimes too, because the people are fearful of their government, their laws and the corresponding penalties.

In the Philippines, not only the Filipinos lack discipline, but the private sectors, government officials and the people in authority are so corrupt too. How can we improve this? We're so used to bypassing laws and doing what we want to do in our own way. Until there are people bribing, there will be corruption.

Elderly people still work for a living. I'm just amazed that a lot of senior citizens here in Singapore still work for their own money. Life is hard here, so people doesn't rely on other people for food and money. Work for your own is the game to play. No time for laziness.


The transportation system here is outstanding. With the way the MRT lines are built, going from one area to another is such a breeze. They also utilize a single card, which can be used in several transportation means. Buses stop and go within a given time, thus not clogging the roads while waiting for passengers. Cabs are presentable, clean, and very much hi-tech with credit card payment system and GPS device available - may not be all, but at least majority.

City Planning

I love it how they have utilized their underground areas for the train system and passage ways. Most of the buildings I've been to in the recent days are connected to each other, so I was able to move around without getting wet even if it rained here. Malls are interconnected too - it's so cool!

Their roads are wide and clean, and there's not much traffic.

Cost of Living

It's a mixture of good and bad thing for me.

Good - Due to the high cost of living, the people here also receive high salary. Imagine, house helpers earn about 350 to 600 SGD or Php11,000 to Php20,000 minimum Php30,000 here, so what more for corporate workers! From a friend, he told me that some part time jobs have a salary of 1500 SGD/month for 15 hours/week.

Bad - It's so expensive and hard to buy a car and a house here in Singapore. Foreigners may purchase houses, but they need to satisfy several requirements from salary to documents, etc. On to the food expenses, a basic meal would cost around 3 SGD already or Php100+. Trains cost around 0.73 SGD or around Php24.

I know these observations may just be basic and lame for some, but quite significant for me. I know it's sad, but for some reason I don't want to leave the Philippines - it still feels great to be in your home country together with people of the same culture and characteristics. 


i love the discipline, orderliness, cleanliness and the mass rapid transportation.  I could do away with the fast forward escalator speeds though. LOL!

Haha! Jay! I almost got out of balanced when I rode the escalator. Crazy! Haha!

True. I've been there so many times and sg still amazes me. The surroundings are so clean. I also wish we had a transportation system like theirs. Sigh.. 

Sadness. I don't know if I would still keep my hopes high that someday, someway the Philippines will get there.

We are still in the process of being a tiger country, we can do this:-) all we need is change.

Correction glenn, house helpers salaries range between 350-600 sgd. 30k is too big i think.
Trains have not been working well as of recent, lots of problems with tracks and some trains,
Overall though i think, PH should have more disciplinn both for govt and its people then we can go much ahead than SG

If I did hear it correctly, Joey said 30,000. but yeah, discipline is main key.

I heard that the urban planners of the city were Filipinos. Which makes it so much more depressing.

Seriously??? Gosh, that's really depressing! Maybe they lack government's attention and support. Or they chose to work abroad coz they get bigger money. Sigh.

What makes it even more depressing is the thought that we could have done it for our country ourselves. We have such a talented pool of workers...and other countries are the ones reaping the benefits.

It's easier to manage a small country like Sg.

Our infrustructure is not bad for a 3rd world country. :)

I've been there for 2 days and yes Philippines is so far behind in so many ways. Filipinos must change a lot of their attitudes and lifestyle before we can move forward. We must share a goal.=)

True! Everyone must work together.

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