"Singaporing" Manila – Reversing the Reality Part 2

The Real Face of Metro Manila

This blog is the continuation of the previous post: "Singaporing" Manila – Reversing the Reality Part 1

Here are some facts and figures about Metro Manila. In 2011, the population of Metro Manila (or Kalakhang Maynila) is 11,855,975. Consisting of 16 cities and one municipality, its total land area is 638.55 sq. km. A permanent resident of Manila is called Manileño. As of 2010, Metro Manila is the 11th most populous city in the world.

Here are some of the photos taken from different areas of Metro Manila today.

You’ve just seen how Manila looks like today. In February 2013, I wrote “Why Business will Grow in Manila?” In this post, I cited that business will grow in Manila or in the Philippines provided that these three conditions would be met.

Condition #1: Mind your own business.
Condition #2: Forget about varying political and religious point of views.
Condition #3: Save for real. Invest for real.

I wrote this article three months after my arrival in Singapore. As I explored some part of this country, it made me think that these three things (or conditions I cited) are what most people do. I was inspired and also thought that great things happening in a small country like Singapore is nevertheless also possible to happen in a city like Metro Manila. In fact, I earlier wrote “Where in the Philippines is Bonifacio Global City – the Gateway to the First World Country?” That was on September 2012. Bonifacio Global City is in Taguig, Metro Manila and I felt that it has many similarities with Singapore, only that it is only a business district and not a country. These ideas on my two previous posts are what made me recall about the story of Lee Kuan Yew and Ferdinand Marcos (and the reason as well why I wrote this blog). At this point, I would like to borrow a section of this paper entitled “Political Virtue and Economic Leadership: A Southeast Asian Paradox” written by Hilton L. Root and was published by Milken Institute on November 13, 2000. You can read the entire article if you wish to. In this paper, it says:

“Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew (1959-90) and Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines (1965-86) coexisted under similar geo-political pressures and were known to share similar political and social philosophies. Yet Lee Kuan Yew established a political party that derived its credibility from a reputation for corruption-free governance, sobriety and growth while Ferdinand Marcos became famous for larceny on a grand scale, stealing the people’s foreign aid and putting it into private bank accounts and property throughout the world.”

“Reflecting upon his success in Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew often boasted that he would have been able to create immense wealth for his citizens if he had only had a larger, more resource-rich country to manage. Few believed that Singapore, an island of 214 square miles and 1.8 million inhabitants, could be a viable country after separating from Malaya in 1964. Lee himself worked tirelessly from 1959 to 1964 to keep Singapore and Malaya together, writing in his memoirs, “We had said that an independent Singapore was simply not viable.” Lee argued, “It is the hinterland that produces the rubber and tin that keep our shop-window economy going. It is the base that made Singapore the capital city. Without this economic base, Singapore would not survive. Without merger, without a reunification of our two governments and an integration of our two economies, our economic position will slowly and steadily get worse.”

“By contrast, the nearby Philippines, with a population of 26.6 million, was considered to be a much more promising developing country. The world’s second largest producer of gold, the Philippines was endowed with a relatively well-educated population, a large resource base and, by the standards of the time, a well-developed infrastructure. With a potentially large resource base to pay back loans and extremely articulate leader it became one of the largest recipients of World Bank assistance during the tenure of Ferdinand Marcos. Yet the Philippines became the sick man of Asia, while Singaporeans now enjoy the second highest per capita income in the region after Japan.”

Source: http://www.milkeninstitute.org/pdf/polvirtu.pdf

On Part 3 (and final part) of this blog post, I would share some photos of Singapore streets, parks, and other public places. I would also highlight why Metro Manila, and the Philippines as whole, can adapt a system like of Singapore today. For 2014, Philippines has a total budget of P2.265-trillion (Source: http://www.gov.ph/2013/12/20/president-aquino-oks-p2-265t-2014-national-budget/). As resident of the Philippines and a former OFW in Singapore, I would share my ideas and opinions on why such annual budget can make Philippines become Singapore, once again.

Related Post
"Singaporing" Manila – Reversing the Reality Part 1

About the Author

Noriel Panganiban is a Business Consultant and Writer. He maintains a website (www.knowriel.com) which also serves as his portfolio as a freelancer.His passion and interest in blogging are what makes him write articles related to the Philippines. ProjectPilipinas.com is about changing everything that is bad into good.


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