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"Singaporing" Manila – Reversing the Reality Part 3

This blog is the continuation of the previous post: "Singaporing" Manila – Reversing the Reality Part 2

When I went to Singapore in 2012, there is an estimated 163,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)in this country. When you look at the map of Singapore, it is really so small that some call this country as the “little red dot”. The government of Singapore is parliamentary (it has a prime minister) and motorists drive on the left side of the road. Now, take a look on these photos portraying the everyday life in Singapore.

Singapore has 55 urban planning areas that are organized into five regions. If you take a closer look on the public transportation system of this country, you will notice how the railroads, highways, streets, and even river systems were developed. They devised the so-called 1991 Concept Plan which was introduced by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. Here in the Philippines, we have the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) which was formed in 1975. According to the MMDA website, their services include development planning, transport and traffic management, solid waste disposal and management, flood control and sewerage management, urban renewal, zoning and land use planning and shelter services, health and sanitation, urban protection and pollution control, and public safety. According to the Summary of FY 2013 New Appropriations released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Php 1,479,631,000 was allotted to the MMDA.

It would be difficult to judge authorities like the MMDA and other government agencies on how they execute their programs and projects, on whether they are successful or not, with respect to the budget allocated to them by the national government. Sometimes, budget is not the main factor for success but it’s the cooperation of the people behind the projects. The pink colors of the fences and posts during the time of Bayani Fernando become green during the time of Francis Tolentino. They both did their best to make Metro Manila a beautiful city. But, how about the people walking, working and travelling in Metro Manila, what are their contributions? If Singaporeans managed to uplift the dignity and beauty of their country, can Manileños’ do it too? Singapore was once a poor country in Asia. Now imagine this, Metro Manila and the Philippines as a whole is a poor country today. Can we reverse this reality?

I would end this post by leaving you a link to a post about Metro Manila from 50’s to 70’s. The story is great and it’s a good inspiration. Many NGO’s could have been doing their part to restore Metro Manila’s beauty in the past years but I believe that there is something wrong on the way they execute their programs and projects. I suggest that the programs should center on the people - their discipline, knowledge and “bayanihan” attitude. That is how Singapore becomes beautiful today.

Manila - The most Beautiful City in Asia 1950's to the mid 1970's

Related Posts
"Singaporing" Manila – Reversing the Reality Part 1
"Singaporing" Manila – Reversing the Reality Part 2
Who are These OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) and Why are They the Modern Heroes of the Philippines

About this Blog
Thank you for reading this blog about Metro Manila and Singapore. The purpose of writing this is to encourage Filipinos to do their part in restoring back the original beauty of Metro Manila. This is our own city and we must take good care of it. is Noriel Panganiban's personal campaign for bringing positive changes in this beautiful country of the Filipinos - the Philippines. Noriel worked at Singapore as an OFW from late 2012 to 2014.


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