3 things holding the Philippines back from becoming another Singapore

As Singapore celebrated its 50th year of independence, one cannot help but reflect on what could have been for our own country, the Philippines. After all, Singapore and the Philippines started as equals back in the 1960s. Records even suggests that the Philippines was the most developed country in the region during that time due to America’s assistance in recovery after the second world war. But alas, the Philippines has been left in the dust by the rest of its neighbors as each country learned to evolve through the times.

Intelligent and efficient Singapore: The country the Philippines could have been.

Intelligent and efficient Singapore: The country the Philippines could have been.

Similar to a marathon runner ahead in the race but who stumbled and suffered a spectacular fall, it has been hard for the Philippines to pick herself up. It’s become even more difficult after the country fell in the hands of the oligarchs who replaced former President Ferdinand Marcos after his ouster in 1986. Meanwhile, from what was described as a formerly sleepy port, Singapore had grown to become a global finance and trade hub. The legacy of Singapore’s founder former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew continues to guide the country’s multicultural society even after his death.

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Some say it is not fair to compare Singapore to the Philippines because Singapore is smaller. The country is just 716 square kilometers, just a little bigger than Metro Manila. But like with most things, it’s not the size of something that matters but what you do with it that counts. Singaporeans obviously did a lot with their space in spite of the scarce resources within it. Just to give you an idea of what they had to deal with, the country had been relying on imported water from Malaysia for most of its water needs. In recent years, “the city-state has made its gutters, drains and rivulets a vast basin to catch rainfall” in addition to increasing the size of its water catchment areas just to ease their dependence on Malaysia. It is evident that instead of holding them back, lack of resources has certainly made Singaporeans become more resourceful.

Accommodating Singapore’s booming population seems like a welcome challenge for them as well. To manage the country’s growth, which is projected to reach six million people in the next two decades, the Singapore government has teamed up with experts from the “Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to devise ways to manage its expansion — knowledge it plans to export to other cities.” The whole point is “to study how cities work and how they can work better.” Those who have been to Singapore will know how efficient things are run in the country.

If only the Philippines can learn from Singapore and apply these to the task of managing its people and resources, the country can also join the rest of its neighbors at the finish line. Despite the Philippines’ vast resources and abundant talent pool, the country cannot seem to get its act together. Let us look at the reasons why:

1. Weak law enforcement leads to lack of discipline.

Lee Kuan Yew’s advice was: Filipinos need to develop discipline more than democracy. He was right. Democracy only works when the majority are informed and educated. That’s not the case in the Philippines. It seems there is this misguided notion among Filipinos that democracy means freedom to do whatever they want including breaking the law.

The reason why Filipinos lack discipline is because law enforcement agencies including the police and justice department do not or cannot do their jobs properly. To help them with their jobs, they have to realize that they are dealing with mostly ignorant and arrogant people so they need to apply zero tolerance and effect strict enforcement of the law. Otherwise, the people will not learn to obey the rules. Perhaps it would be best if members of the Philippine law enforcement agencies treat the populace like children who need guidance. That’s how it’s done in Singapore until now anyway. No chewing gum, anyone?

Everyday there is chaos on major roads in the Philippines due to lack of discipline. One wonders what the traffic enforcers are doing to fix the problem. Nothing, it seems. Every day there is someone throwing garbage in the river and someone building a new shack illegally on private and public lands. One wonders what the police and local government agencies are doing to nip the problem in the bud. These are just some of the violations that are tolerated in the country. Some say this is so because politicians patronize the masses to get their votes. Which brings us to the next item.

2. Patronage politics has perverted democracy.

It’s also called padrino system. This is the reason why law enforcement is weak in the Philippines. The law is not applied equally to everyone. This is evident in the way incumbent public servants use selective justice in prosecuting criminals. This is why a lot of people think it’s okay to do the crime. If you need further convincing, just look at how President BS Aquino treats his allies. When people see others get away with violating the law just by being friends with those in power or by bribing those in power, their natural tendency is to emulate or copy what they see. A lot of the elite members of Philippine society do this to get away with violating the law. Those from the lower class just copy the behavior of those from the upper class.

Mismanagement and mediocrity ruined the Philippines.

Mismanagement and mediocrity ruined the Philippines.

This is precisely the reason why it is best to first ask the elite members of Philippine society to change instead of asking or expecting the masses to change.

As long as patronage politics is strong in the Philippines, the country will not progress. You can even see patronage politics on the road. The buses that block the road on EDSA and cause major traffic jams are operated by the elites and, unfortunately, these bus operators are not doing anything to discipline their drivers and neither are the traffic enforcers doing anything drastic since they more than likely get a cut from the bus operators.

3. Anti-intellectual attitudes discourage critical debate.

An anti-intellectual attitude in the Philippines is a problem that has plagued the country since the mid 1980s. The problem started when Filipinos allowed a “reluctant” housewife with no expertise in running a government to become the President of the Republic. Instead of promoting excellence, former President Cory Aquino promoted mediocrity. The society also became increasingly emotional and vindictive.

One just needs to look at the current crop of public servants today and one will realize why the country is run like hell. Instead of voting for experts and professionals or at least someone with more experience and vision, Filipinos love putting a lot of celebrities and popular personalities and their relatives in powerful positions in government.

It seems as though Filipinos are allergic to people who have knowledge and expertise in solving the country’s problems so they would rather go for someone who they can relate with even when nothing is being done to solve the country’s woes. No wonder the country’s public transport system is almost in ruin.

It’s only in the Philippines where intellectuals are ostracised. When you explain something that is deemed too complicated for the average person, they will simply dismiss you with “eh di wow!” or similar exasperated expressions in a condescending manner. It is the reason why some intellectuals would rather go with the flow than risk being shamed for using their heads.

As long as intellectuals and experts are not in charge of the Philippines, the country will not reach the same status as Singapore.

The above reasons are what is holding the Philippines back from reaching First World status. They all pertain to Filipino cultural traits. There are some who would say that the country’s flawed system is what’s holding the country back and suggest that perhaps a parliamentary form of government will help foster intellectual discourse. However, the system is only as good as the people. There is very little chance a good system will be designed by a society that is lacking in discipline, is anti-intellectual, and is imprisoned by patronage politics. Sadly, such a society is guaranteed to either remain stagnant or become worse in the decades to come.

299 Replies to “3 things holding the Philippines back from becoming another Singapore”

  1. Nice article. Even if the three items were fixed I doubt the philippines would make first world status. How about removing the idiotic foreign investment restrictions and ownership rules.

    1. Thanks.

      Well, if Filipinos can overcome the three items and encourage intellectual discourse, majority will eventually reach the same page and discuss solutions like fixing the flawed system or remove laws that can help the country move even further forward.

      Right now, a lot of foreign investors leave because of the three things mentioned above.

      1. I really like your article! You know what baffles me? When Filipinos are around other nationalities, like when they are in USA or working as overseas workers, they are disciplined and civilized. But as soon as they know everyone around them are Filipinos just like themselves, all sense of decency and civility goes right out the door. Here is a fitting example: Whenever I would fly Philippine Airlines from San Francisco to Manila, as soon as they start boarding us, everyone scrambles to the entrance instead of lining up in an orderly manner. Sad to admit but we are a hopeless case.

        1. Yep, even when they arrive in Manila from the USA, all order goes out the window.
          It is a scramble. Luggage carousels are just packed with everyone pushing their carts right to the front of the carousel that no one else can get in.

        2. The Filipino is such a smart and cunning human being that he/she can adapt readily to the kind of environment he/she is in,, if the environment is orderly, progressive and disciplined,,in a flick of a thumb he becomes, orderly, progressive and disciplined,, Ive seen a lot of that,, wherever the Filipino is, in the streets of the world and the international stage.,,BUT,,,,,a big BUT,,,if he finds that the environment he is in is a corrupt, criminalistic and kleptocratic environment,,,by all means blending in is necesassary,,,And Ive seen more examples of that too,,,See how smart we are,,,,So my friends lets change the environment that the smart Filipino is thriving in now into a disciplined, progressive and orderly state and i doubt it if you can see the smart Filipino urinating at the wall of a building or your fence. Changing the environment is necessary,,,and changing it now is of utmost importance,,,,have a nice day,,,and Good night,,,By the Way a real change is the only way to change us,,

      2. Yes I agree with that article we need discipline as Filipinos as well as more education. If the public servants are all corrupt and not honest with their countryman and to their country everthing is useless. Cut the problem from the source it’s like a disease you need to find out where is the cause and treated it, otherwise it keep spreading and no cure that’s what we call Recycle. No more Recycle we need genuine, intellectual leaders who knows what he is doing for the sake and love to his country. No more padrinos treat everybody equally when it comes to justice and punishment.

        1. Evelyn Mead,

          “Yes I agree with that article we need discipline as Filipinos as well as more education.”

          We not only need discipline, every Fliptard needs a morality overhaul from his and her aristocratic (hambog) and self-serving (makasarili) attitude and way of life.

  2. Hi Ilda! I still have to admit there are some clowns at Get Real Philippines group that keep calling Singapore as “Everybody’s favorite tyranny.” which is for backward thinkers.

    Anyway, you may want to take a look at these entries I made:

    The Philippines’ Problem of Anti-Intellectualism Prevailing in Society!

    Philippine Democracy Is Currently A Government Of Stupid People, By Stupid People And For Stupid People!

    Failipinos Can’t Expect to Bring Progress in Their Country IF They Refuse to Follow Even Simple Guidelines!

    I hope you enjoy reading them and feel free to comment.

    1. Hi Sean

      Thanks for the links. You are such a prolific writer. I don’t know where you find the time to do it. 🙂


      1. I love the Philippines..it stires my soul a paradise of a great and proud people..the land of Jose Rizal.The people are powerless..that’s the real problem..they have no control over their own lives. Workers need strong unions to guarantee better wages and decent treatment by employers. The corrupt agency system keeps everyone enslaved and steals your wages. Like here in America and few wealthy families run the country and nothing changes. Despite it all I can’t wait to return to the Philippines

        1. John Stuart Hancock,

          “The people are powerless..that’s the real problem..they have no control over their own lives.”

          The people are powerless because they refuse to think as one nation–of foregoing selfish interests and setting aside personal differences–by doing the right thing to rebuild their nation.

          The biggest problem Filipinos have is having a false sense of pride–of who they are and what they’ve accomplished–that weakens their relationships with each other instead of strengthens it.


    2. Hi Sean I agree with you The stupid people who are in politics and stupid people who voted them in government position,also greedy very rich business man stupid people help this politician to acquired gov.position and Intellectual people are being ignored like Daniel Dingle who invented a car using water converted to Hydrogen fuel and many genius Filipino that never given a chance or support from the Philippine gov,because there self interest comes first before others. As commented by Korean people there country become successful because all of Korean people honestly love there country.Specially the people who have the highest position in Gov. like the President.The very popular speech by Former US president John F.Kennedy Do what you can to the country and not what the country can do for you.This stupid politician and stupid voter’s are needs to be reform and not the political system is needed.If the public is really thinking of there good future get away from all those popular candidate .and also continue to be good to themselves honestly and will discipline individual.

      1. What is more hypocritical is this…

        Ever noticed they mock the Pinoy intellectuals then… when the Pinoy intellectual succeeds, they do their free riding? It’s so annoying.

        Then if a Filipino who is Chinese by blood wins abroad, a lot of Filipinos want to discredit him/her.

        I really hate what the country has become.

        1. I can’t help but to agree on how much this country is slowly becoming a place where people who are not bible-thumping demagogues, basketballtards, Yellow Propaganda junkies, squatter minded fools and emotional bigots are becoming unwelcome and unwanted. This makes me want to cry bitter tears whenever I think about it and feel incredibly desperate about our Philippines, once a nation filled with hopes, intelligence and true pride become a den of oligarchs, hypocrisy and unwarranted pride.

      2. You can fix a broken car, you can fix a broken bridge, you can mend a broken arm you can fix a broken mind. You cannot fix Stupid. Sorry

        1. And Filipinos’stupid delusions of how great of a people they are is beyond fixing. What the Filipinos need is a complete overhaul of their cultural values, attitude, and way of life—which will require a complete lobotomy.

  3. Great article.
    I like this line especially: “However, the system is only as good as the people.” = the weakest link in the system is/are the mediocre people.

    We – the Netherlands – also have the same traffic problems and we are trying to solve them. What are the cases of our traffic problems? We are occupying the road at the same time bec we all want to get at work at the same time.

    Possible solutions:
    1) those who can work from home should be encouraged to do so.

    2) flexible work hours.
    Most of us work probably 8 hrs per day. But do we all need to start at 8 or 8.30AM? Why not start at 10AM and finish the day at 6.30PM.
    Another group of employees can start at 9AM; another at 9.30AM and so on.
    In case most or all work 36-40 hrs per week (5 x 8 hrs or 5 x 7,20) can also try to work (4 x 9 hrs) + 4.

    1. Exactly! and these will also give a chance for employees to process their needed government papers before or after their shift, because there will be longer office hours… come to think of the 8-5 routine is outdated because it applies back then when the population is not a problem. But now, i think we need to adjust…. can the congress have a social media account so that they could read about law suggestions… they could use their belly fat for something right?

      1. And all those others who shouldnt be occupying the roads at rush hour should pay a heavy congestion fee. People that insist doing their shoppings (groceries and going to malls) by car/bus/jeepney/MTR between 8AM and 10AM & between 3PM and 7PM should pay that congestion fee.

        I am aware that my suggestions are not solving all traffic problems, but it may be a start. Besides those mentioned by Ilda.

        1. they once lamented how can w cut the number of buses on edsa. Simple really make a cut of 50 per cent by making them all double deckers. the same goes for the lrt and mrt make them double deckers. done in many countries in the world trouble here is nobody will listen to good advice

      2. I have an easy suggestion! Why aren’t you off your butt and doing anything about the issues the Philippines has? Instead we are all on this message board doing not but complaining. What the Philippines needs is someone with huge hairy balls!? Someone be the do’er and not just the thinker or complainer!!

    2. Yes, those are all possible solutions to the traffic problem in Ph. Filipinos just need to think outside the square or box as some people prefer.

      1. I wish that they only allow people who pay taxes to vote so we know that we have worthy people run the different offices. But most of all, clean house after they take office and hire the intellectuals. To this date knowing that the Marco’s blatantly robbed us gags me to know that they are still in office and that Bongbong Marcos is running for Pres. Have the recovered everything Marco’s took from the people? I love my country so dearly because we are so reach with natural resources and stand alone but….

        1. Dont blame the marcoses.suggest try to research where the marcoses wealth came from.based from my researched, the marcos money came from his own profesoonal fee, 30% of the 720 million tons of tallano gold..i dont know exactly the number of tons of golds but more or less 700 million tons..try to analize also who are the wealthy people now. They are the one behind the fall of marcoses..because during marcos admin, they cannot do their illegal activities…

        2. The Marcos Administration gave us a reason to call our fathers and grandfathers Filipinos and be proud about it in the process. They made roads and bridges, which are more important than anything else in the rural provinces to improve internal trade and transportation. They made tons of infrastructure, which dramatically improved our health, culture, utility and life. We were an Asian nation that everyone looked up on and hoped to become just as rich as we are.

          All of it came crashing down when the Church, the Communists, the Oligarchs and the Corrupt Elements of the Government used the death of a good man to their own diabolical devices and destroyed a visionary who only wanted to bring our country to a better place in this world. After that, our next generation’s minds are slowly poisoned by the corrosive elements of Yellow Propaganda sponsored mass media and education, our country is run roughshod by the incompetent, the incumbent, the corrupt and the undeserving, turned our proud culture into a caricature and a parody of what it truly was back then and the prosperity that we Filipinos wanted is taken away and replaced with something worse.

          Are we supposed to be proud about this? Are we supposed to be go around, thumping our chests and proclaim that the EDSA revolution made our country prosperous and gave our people more dignity and pride? Do we even have the right to be proud at all after three decades worth of abuse, poverty and self-destruction?

          I love my country too and I’m not a Marcos loyalist but I just cannot turn a blind eye to what he did for the Philippines and how much we’ve lost after destroying everything that he had built.

        3. Revisionist history?

          Pinoys should have to actually learn objective history. When they blindly say the Marcos Years were bad and give nothing constructive about it but rejoice the 1987 constitution and Cory’s efforts like it was a breath of fresh air, its like the same idiots who thought the Spanish finally leaving was a time of grace for the country. Yes only for the likes of Cojuangcos, Aquinos and such to take over and install their political dynasties for centuries on end. Because pinoys are so caught up on extraneous details and forget the proper context in mind of the important events that happened.

          Smuggling alone in the last 5 years is in the trillions. That is totally controlled by one KKK sitting in the Palace. Just a conservative ad valorem of 10%, that is already 100 billion of taxes gone. I am talking very conservatively.

          Actually, there are already estimates that show corruption in the 30 years after 1986 is five times the 20 years prior to 1986. Also estimates that PNoy’s KKK more corrupt than GMA. So Teddy Locsin, Jr. is right about the fact that post-EDSA presidents made Marcos more of an amateur.

          Unfortunately, you’re clueless.

      2. You are absolutely right!! And I have a real suggestion! If you can grant me some of your time it would be greatly appreciated.

    3. I initially found it odd that Filipinos seem to spend so much time travelling hither and yon. Where the hell are they all going? Most of them are supposedly unemployed.

      Then I had the misfortune to encounter the Philippine bureaucracy, AKA the Employment Agency for The Slightly Retarded.

      In functioning countries, you interact with the government via the internet, a phone call, or form to fill in, or at worst a single trip to some ugly office.

      In the Philippines… oh my. You go this window. Then you pay a fee and get send to some other office. Then you have to post a form to manila. Then you have to take the form to a different office, where you wait at six different windows and pay another fee. Then you have to go to a notary. Then you have to take triplicate copies to another window and … pay another fee.

      So all those people on the road: they’re probably just off to pay their water bill.

      1. Marius,
        I dont have to leave my house to pay a/any bill. I can pay by mobile phone or by internet banking from any computer.
        To renew my passport/drivers license, I still have to go to City Hall (in person).

        1. We’re getting there … to pay my water, electric, cable, DSL and mobile phone bills, I can do it online or just go down to the 7-11 at the ground floor of my office building. I work from home in the morning and go to my office after lunch and leave for home slightly after rush hour. During my car coded day, I usually opt to walk home which is just 2.4 kms. away instead of taking a cab and bypass the more unfortunate car riders stuck in gridlock.

          In my line of work, I deal a lot with various branches of government but I can access and download most needed copies of official documents from government websites with relative ease, or via email from established contacts in pertinent agencies instead of going out to personally appear at their offices. These days, PDF copies of official communications and documents transmitted online are already generally accepted. If a hard copy must be sent, I don’t mind paying Php 80 (US$1.70) for special courier service which gets the document to the recipient on the next day.

          It’s all a matter of knowing and choosing the best options.

        2. Johnny,
          just to add. if one has a job here then having a bank account is a requirement.
          Employers dont issue cheques anymore with which you have to go to a bank to cash that cheque (too dangerous of getting robbed).
          Your wage/salary will be transfered to your bank account once per month (approx at the 21st of each month).
          Almost all purchases are done by using a bankcard (direct debit card) (punch your pincode of the bankcard, check the amount, punch OK and purchase is paid).
          Hence almost no need to walk around with cash money in your wallet.
          I can even withdraw money from a PH ATM, using my bank card (so there is no need to use a credit card for that).

        3. I live in Melbourne Australia.
          One morning, I went to have my Driver’s License renewed. I was 4th in line at 8:15 am, 15 minutes before the office opened.
          8:40 am I was leaving the license office with my new Driver’s License. I wish my beloved Mother Land is as efficient as that.

        4. Sukie,
          Literally, I cant wait for my DL and passport because they have to be ‘manufactured/processed’. That process takes time and is done centralized. The ‘waiting’ time is about 4 or 5 days. And by the time one’s current DL or passport expires, one receives a letter (by snail mail) from City Hall that its about time to renew it.
          So far, I never heard any complaints about the ‘waiting’ time of 4 or 5 days.

          And even when passports and DLs are actually made/manufactured by City Hall, I dont think it will go as fast as in your city/country (as mentioned by you).

      2. Just a bit of hyperbole there Robert. I dunno about Manila, but out in the provinces you have to physically go to the water co-operative to pay the bill (most people don’t have bank accounts anyway, so online service would be futile).

        I was referring mainly to all the silly hoops that the average citizen must jump through to do anything more complex than paying a bill. To start or run the simplest business, for example, you need to employ a full-time accountant to deal with the mountain of foolish regulations and paperwork.

        1. I think I started (earlier on) to understand that most (or a lot) Filipinos dont have a bank account.

          My local water co-operative (we just say: the water company) will send me straight back home. We are about to go to a penny-less society/nation (= an empty wallet/purse). I think we can do everything with just 1 bank card.

        2. Marius,
          Are you implying that all those 10 million OFWs also have no bank acount?
          If yes then how do they transfer money back home? Using Western Union or Money Gram?

        3. Robert: I think you misunderstand me. I was referring specifically to the Philippines, not Europe – where, of course, the bureaucracy functions very well (although we pay heavily for that privilege, but that’s another story). This was in the context of the traffic problems: I’ve had many experiences in the Philippines that require me to make a physical trip – often several trips – to deal with some trivial issue.

          It wouldn’t surprise me if the OFWs bring their poor financial skills with them, including their mistrust of banks (which is well-founded in the Philippines).

          You can send cash via the money-transfer agencies, and pick up cash at the other end. It’s the way I send money to myself when travelling to/from the Philippines.

      3. NBI’s previous pseudo-online application

        1. Go the their website and fill out form.

        2. Print said form.

        3. Go to the nearest NBI branch…. wait what?… and join the long lines of walk in applicants.

        4. Failed to make it to the minimum daily number/quota? Tough luck. Go back next. At 2:00 AM. Fk yes, 2AM.

        5. Complain about the goddamn system? Get told that a TRUE FILIPINO sucks it up and is open to sacrifices. Or run for president.



        1. My point exactly.

          I get the impression all of this is deliberate. The government WANTS to fuck up the economy. They WANT everyone to waste their time standing in queues, or waste their money on “professionals” who navigate the system for them.

          If the people who make the rules can hobble everyone except themselves with ridiculous regulations, then they can establish monopolies and rule the country. And that’s precisely what they’ve done.

        2. that happened to me anon. i applied online and guess what i waited in line the whole day. i wasn’t able to go to work that day. a waste of time. mothaf@ckaz! XD

        3. To be fair with the nbi online system, i applied for nbi clearance way back 2013, thanks to google i discovered this online application. After the online process and payment, i went to get the clearance in robinson’s cainta and spent only 15 minutes. I was scared because the people in line is throwing me this murderous look probably because they were there for hours but here i am just spending 15 minutes and already got the clearance. It’s a good thing the security guard kind enough to explain it to them. Im not sure about the current process though if it is still fast and easy.

      4. You’re right! Unfortunately, most of these people don’t have the technical know-how to use the NET or don’t have access to them and lastly, many Philippine government offices,especially local government offices don’t have websites or if they do have, they don’t have features that would allow transactions on the NET.

      5. Very excellent point…years ago I helped a young lad emigrate to the u.s.from the phils. so he could be reunited with his mom after being separated for 10 or so yrs..you think what you went thru was difficult?? And last yr.I was married in the phils….the beaurocratic bullshit was never ending,go here for this,go here for that…oh wait,you didnt do this,you need to go back to where you just were to to get this signed by the chief dildo in the back office….and of course he is some pompous asshole with his hair all coiffed, you’ve just interrupted playing a video game on his phone..so he’s pissed to see you..yeah been there,done that…

  4. Sometimes i’m guilty of dumbing down myself just not to be ostracize. I have no patience for small talks and i love intellectual conversation, but whenever i try to talk to my officemate, they will say things like, ‘eh di wow’ , ‘bakit di ka magsenador andami mo alam’ or masyado ka naman teh seryoso and they will laugh, which i got tired off an just shut myself up. Then they will fill their mouth with talking about how to be more beautiful or how to whiter or about the most recent love team to conquer the brainless media. So sad…

    1. There just your typical, annoying co-workers who only care to earn a peso for a living. I bet they made you not go to work just to meet them. A good co-worker not only help each other but hang out with each other after work sharing pains and accomplishment from the works created.

      I used to work on a site where we appreciated the camaraderie and that was because I worked at the military site. And we enjoyed playing PS3 and Wii during our break, played basketball under the sun during noon, and competed by NFL Fantasy league trying to one-up each other.

  5. GREAT ARTICLE, IIda. Well done!!! Indeed, Philippines could have and SHOULD have been equal to Singapore all along. The Philippines has always had abundant valuable assets that Singapore did not except one. Leadership!!!.

    Like you, I’m sure Yew’s observation that Philippines lacked discipline meant the general lack of respect for or enforcement of laws. But noting LKY’s mental dexterity and complex thought process, he implied our country was lazy in the Affairs of State and lax in delivering goods, services, justice and equal opportunity for our people.

    These things would be hard to say diplomatically and publicly.

    1. “These things would be hard to say diplomatically and publicly” – this line made me laugh because I suddenly imagined LKY is declared persona non grata in RP.

        1. should have hired him as president after he retired from public office in singapore. lol. just wishful thinking. but then again, what if?

    2. It is blatantly obvious to most outside observers that the Philippines and filipinos lack discipline on many fronts…what kind of people litter their once beautiful beaches,waterways and streets with trash? What kind of people keep having children that they cannot feed,house and educate properly? What kind of people have absolutely no thought of the future?What kind of people allow their ‘elected’ officials to literally rob their constituents blind?What kind of people are afraid to stand up and create change???? A weak,undisciplined people,thats who !!!

  6. You make good points but omit the main reason . Your constitution prevents foreign owners from owning business in the Philippines( with the recent exception of import/export seat trade and any business that exports more than 70%? of its produce). The world bank points out that you have the greatest disincentives to foreign business of any “developed” Asian country. Your public utilities cannot be owned by foreigners – which would not matter if there were not so many blackouts , good water supply and clean sewage. You even prevent joint development of resources in the South china seas as your constitution demands you own 60% of the assets.
    even on a small scale I as a foreigner cannot buy a house freehold as I can never own the land on which it stands. It is no wonder the Philippines is such a poor nation with undernourished children, worse shanty towns than Mumbai and little people. It is not genetics that make the Filipinos so small in stature but undernourishment and poor diet.

    1. Totally agree, george. No country can stand alone – only the arrogant and the mad (like NK) think that “self-sufficiency” is possible or desirable. Even the US recognises that it must trade with the rest of the world to survive.

      The attempt to exclude foreigners from business has not only hobbled the entire country with stupid laws, it doesn’t even work. There are plenty of ways for a big company with money and lawyers to skirt around the law. The food supply, for example, is run by international conglomerates: all of that awful junk food that people subsist on is either of foreign design (locally sourced from contractors) or imported.

      1. yes but they are either franchises (like MacDonald’s ) or have a nominal office in the Philippines. A bit like how Starbucks avoids paying tax in Britain as its office is in Dublin where tax is much lower and royalties etc. go them. You cannot do that for non service industries.

      2. George and Marius, you both raise excellent points. The prohibitive 60% ownership is a deal killer for most foreign companies.

        Even if a company decided to take the risk of a minority position, the fundamentals are either missing or unaffordable.

        The highest rates for the poorest power service in Asia, virtually no clean water system, substandard sewage and sanitation infrastructure and a marginal highway network in a market where 80% of the families earn less than US 7,000 per year, paints a very bleak picture.

        Two questions; 1) “If the Philippines doesn’t invest in the Philippines, why would a foreigner invest”? 2) “If this is how the Philippines treats it’s people, what chance would a foreigner stand”? Case closed

    2. @george

      Well, I thought about including item No. 4 with “flawed system of government and restrictive economic provisions”. But I decided against it because it should already fall under item No. 3. Because of the anti-intellectual attitude, Filipinos cannot find or accept solutions to the country’s problems. Every time someone brings up the topic of amending the constitution for example, Filipinos go up in arms and doubt the motives of the person/people advocating it.

  7. I completely agree with the article and the comments. Being in SQ most of the time I see & feel the huge differences: from the absence of guards’ sticking of BBQ sticks “kalikot-izing” all belongings of mall entrants, to the deafening silence of non-horn blowers, to the disciplined queuing of all in areas where needed, to doing most of your govt transactions online free from “mga buwayang hayok” with wide open palms and/or table drawers to where “graft-ies or corrupt-ness” must be dropped, to sincere caring & concern for the PRs, citizens most particularly the seniors up to allowing my grand-teenagers to gallivant in hawker centers and malls even late at night for I fully know they are safe…very safe in the streets, buses & cabs.
    A lot more heaven & earth differences that made me decide to retire and have my sunset in that well led & managed country named Singapore.
    I hated Marcos before for which I wasn’t able to pursue my political dream when Martial Law was declared. But thinking deeply, I NOW consider him the best President this nation had, as of yet…brains, “balls” and sheer determination to succeed.

  8. Ilda, another awesome article. When are you running for president? 🙂

    >> Perhaps it would be best if members of the Philippine law enforcement agencies treat the populace like children who need guidance.

    I have exactly the same feeling. So many of the people I meet seem to operate on the mental level of children. I can’t help wondering if decades of enforced mediocrity, slavery to the oligarchs, and a laughable education system has done something to the average IQ.

    Singapore must have been in a similar position, and regimenting the mouthbreathers not only improved public order, it improved general intelligence. The idiots either had to become smarter, or they had to produce kids who were smarter than they were. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be able to survive. Filipinos don’t seem to experience this sort of pressure to improve: we’re just happy-go-lucky people; we don’t want to join the rat race.

    While there is SOME merit in that idea – the work-slave society of the West has its own problems – the Filipino takes it to mean that he might as well just sit on his ass and do nothing with his life; if he can’t feed his kids or send them to school, well, bahala na.

    1. @marius

      Thank you for reading!

      I chuckled when I read “he might as well just sit on his ass and do nothing with his life”. That’s so true. I know a lot of folks who think I am just wasting my time writing and trying to make sense of all the crazy things happening in PH because they think nothing can be done to change things anyway. They have a defeatist mentality. But anyway, I do it also to find out if there are other people out there who share my views. Otherwise, I might think it’s the twilight zone.

  9. You don’t mention that the biggest export of the Phillipines is it’s people. You are exporting The very people who want to work hard to get ahead. You need these people to move your country forward.

    1. Remittances mostly just end up on mall owners’ hands. Not surprising when considering that 15th and 30th of the month are major news item on tv.


      How the fuck can you save on a society designed to milk every last cent out of the common man? Social drinking after work hours/payday, fiestas everywhere, every damned holiday/special events like Valentines/Mother’s Day commercialized to death.

    2. @David

      Lots of reasons why Filipinos leave. It’s not just limited to economic. Some find that they are better appreciated in other countries compared to when they are in the Ph. It’s related to item No.3 anti-intellectualism.

  10. The problems started when the Americans left. They were the people running the infrastructure. It was basically Marcos who kicked them out (or made it impossible for them to continue operating).

    Cory just carried on with more of the same. I’m really quite surprised that people think there was any discontinuity when Marcos left. Even some of the same faces are still in positions of power.

    1. Agree with this one thousand percent. Thing is towards the end, things with DC got personal. DC was getting irritated with Imelda showing up in parties uninvited. On other hand, Imelda was always pissed when she was not invited to important parties.

        1. Imelda is special(?!?) Please read or research some more. Marcos or Cojuangco/Aquino are all the same. What we need a clone of Lew Kuan Yew , a benevolent leader.

    2. Hi, Marius. Thanks for saying that. I’m an American, and it’s good to hear some good comments from time to time.

      As an Professional Expat, we get to hear some interesting opinions of the ways America works.

      I was having dinner in Cyprus a few years ago, and a group of young people asked if they could interview me.

      There first question was, “If Cyprus declares war on US on Tuesday, and Cyprus surrenders on Wednesday, will US come and build us some new highways on Thursday?” I assured them, yes, that seemed logical.

      Be assured, America will always be a good friend to Philippines and will come if invited and help if needed.

        1. Hey, Robert. I suppose there is a difference, but the “Professional Expat” is a term my team gave me since I’ve only been in the US 10 days in 8 years

          I chose to work all the “Garden Spots” from Mongolia to Morocco with holidays in Gaza and Somalia.

          My people are are too valuable to risk and I’m expendable, so . . . . .

        2. Rico, I was a bit teasing you.

          Many Filipinos also state they are a professional teacher (as if there are also amateur teachers). In my country you are a teacher or you are not a teacher (maybe you are an engineer. But that person is not a professional engineer).

          However, you can be a professional soccer player (its your job, its your profession) or you can be an amateur soccer player (now its a hobby, and not paid and not a profession).

        3. Understood, Robert. Based on the criterion, I travel and live abroad as a part of a career instead of leisure, so I suppose Professional would apply.

        4. There are indeed amateur teachers. How do you think the Philippines achieves such appallingly low academic standards?

        5. Marius,
          I thought that every teacher is registered with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

          On the card of my ex it indeed says “professional teacher”. Very strange.

          So from today I will state my job title as professional garbage collector (as if there are also amateur garbage collectors).

          The Philippines is a funny country.

        6. lol!
          it may have something to do with our poor command of the English language. i also commit mistakes sometimes. so I need to do some proof reading first. I don’t even know if my grammar is correct in this paragraph. 😀

        7. No worries, Andrew!!! The fun part about the English Language is, it’s very “Fluid”. You just start speaking, if the listener has questions, you re-phrase for better specificity.

          English can be tailored into Technical/Scientific Language, Legal / Business Language, Military / Geopolitical / Diplomatic Language, etc.

          Your language skills are fine, Andrew. We all learn something new everyday.

        8. lol!
          it may have something to do with our poor command of the English language. i also commit mistakes sometimes. so I need to do some proof reading first. I don’t even know if my grammar is correct in this paragraph. ????

        9. Andrew,
          As long as you dont say you are a professional engineer but instead tell me you are an engineer, then you are fine.

          For me personally (and also in my country) it sounds and looks weird (and yes almost stupid) when one says he/she is a professional engineer. As if he wants to proof something to be recognized/acknowledged as such.

          In the hobby section of your resume (CV) you can state that you like to build clay bridges over imaginary rivers.

      1. Just to burst your bubble, Rico, I didn’t mean exclusively Americans 😉

        However, it is a fact that most of the stuff that worked back in the day – power, roads, etc – were funded by the US and operated by American companies.

        It really annoys me when Filipinos rave about Marcos being “the best president we ever had”. I can only assume their history books don’t even MENTION the Americans, and the fact that they were almost single-handedly responsible for the Philippine infrastructure, while Marcos sat there claiming all the credit.

        As someone (george?) mentioned back there, the rampant xenophobia is one of the factors holding the country back. All successful countries welcome skilled professionals from elsewhere. Filipinos are so obsessed with their ‘resourcefulness’ (which works after a fashion, but produces substandard and outrageously expensive solutions) that they’re blinded to all the possibilities that the world has to offer.

        1. Indeed. It seems pinoys are obsessed with this concept of puritanical localism, or this idea that filipinos must use “pinoy only” products just so they could brag about their “pinoy only identity”; in other words, for nationalistic purposes.

          By the way have you seen these programmes?

          Churchill’s Traitors, NGC Megafactories BMW, NGC Two tales of China Sino Eagle Group

          What’s more telling in these programmes is that counties like Japan, Germany and China are willing to hire and include foreign workers, designers and engineers to improve the quality of their products and services and therefore their economy. By contrast, pinoys will reject all foreign ideas, assistance and advanced technical know-how just to prove the “superiority” of their so-called “pinoy racial purity.

          No foreigners allowed. They don’t want any blemish on their “purity.” “Everything must be pinoy only.“(Even though some of these pinoys may not have the necessary skills and qualifications leading mostly to mediocre products and results)

          And yet they wonder why they keep failing all the time. Such moronic notions will get them nowhere.

  11. This is super, super 5-star article.
    One trillion likes.

    1. Not many know that Filipinos led by Dinah Santos were part of the urban planning of SG at the start. One feature of this was to convert all flood prone areas to parks and/or forest reserve – an idea that could hv helped PHL but nobody here wanted to listen Dinah. Talk of anti intellectualism. LKY was really a visionary, first one to think green, so SG is about greeneries.

    2. When Changi airport was built, ppl were laughing why it was so big, but LKY was thinking 50 years ahead. Now Changi is #2 best airport in the world, next only Schiphol of Amsterdam. Gateway to country is most, most important, no matter how you look at it. Period.

    3. Best police force in region, overtaking HKG. Police of SG are most sought after singles because of their high salaries and very good benefits..

    4. SG army trained by Israelis. Lean and mean organization. Best in ASEAN.

    5. Govt bureaucrat salaries compete with the private sector — gives no reason for corruption

    6. SG Airline – only airline with no accident record

    7. LKY wanted to have best schools/ university in the region. He got that.

    8. Now trying very hard to correct demographic winter so the won’t need the 25% of pop. foreign workers

    9. Now positioning itself to be cultural center.

    10. Now positioning itself to be hub of renminbi. Banking, however, not favorite of rich because when you deposit in SG, you could only withdraw usd2 million per year.

    11. Mass housing started as a heavy burden. It involved a 30% tax on income specific only to housing.

    12. Discipline remains as its trademark.

    PHL can learn many things from SG, but PHL does not know how to learn.

    1. Hi Add

      Sorry for the late reply. I think I am in too many forums and have been responding to a lot of folks lately. 😉

      Thanks for your kind words. No wonder LKY thinks it’s a shame the Philippines cannot take off despite the talented individuals he’s met.

      Singapore wasn’t too proud to seek the assistance of experts from overseas like the Israelis. This got me thinking about the amount of money PNoy spends on his PR machine just to make himself look good. The money could have been spent on hiring consultants who have the expertise to fix our country’s problem instead.

  12. Great article, Ilda! I hope the likes of this article are the ones going viral. Accurate analysis of the situation and problems that will kick off change and solutions from all the people involved.

    As to disciplining Filipinos, it should also be partnered with education. Like if a person is caught throwing garbage or urinating in public places, aside from being detained/jailed or paying fines, they should be given orientation or have them to watch documentaries in their detention room about laws involving their petty crime, it’s effect in our surroundings/nation and how can it be prevented and the results once they care for their environment. And then they have to answer a questionnaire to test if they learned. If they didn’t get a passing grade, they have to attend the orientation again or watch the documentaries again. They can’t go home until they pass the test. Then they will be included in the watch list where if they committed the same crime again in this certain period of time they will be given higher punishment. It’s important that the frequency of a person doing the same offense must be lessened up to zero occurrences. I came up with this suggestion because I observed that Filipinos seemed to be detached when it comes to the welfare of the nation. See, even if it directly affects them like the flooding and dirty surroundings, traffic, poor government social services, infrastructures and means of transpo, they continue with being undisciplined. What these people have been doing repeatedly for so long become second nature to them so they have to be taught and to understand that they are the main player in improving and developing their society. If they refused to be disciplined and educated, they must be traumatized I guess.

    1. @Sick_Amore

      Thank you!

      Maybe if I mentioned DingDong and Marian it will go viral…haha.

      Yes, that is a good suggestion. Violators should be forced to understand the repercussions of what they are doing. Though it’s baffling how they can’t even see it on their own despite the number of times the streets get flooded in a year. It is evident that they don’t care about their surroundings.

      1. *laughs to DongYan remark*

        “Though it’s baffling how they can’t even see it on their own despite the number of times the streets get flooded in a year.”

        I can think of three things contributing to that: discontent, suppress emotions and the absence of balance.

        I just recently watched Pixar’s “Inside Out” and the show tell how important it is to express the right emotion in a given situation. Anger, Disgust, Fear and Sadness are as important as Joy. You’ll find the girl in the movie “thinking happy thoughts” and “being positive” although she’s disappointed with her new environment. She simply accept what’s presented in front of her even though that’s not what she wanted, that’s far from what she envisioned things to be and, so as not to dampen the happy spirit of their new life, she just think everything’s going to be alright, it will pass, she can cope. Joy, as much as she can, prohibits Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust to set in. So when Joy got removed and finally the rest of the emotions got in charge, the girl’s behavior got worse to the point that she wanted to escape her school and home. To relate with that, Filipinos in face of discontent come up with “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”, “Pinoy Pride”, “resilience”, and “Proud to be Pinoy”. They hold on to the “good news” even though that doesn’t solve anything. They remain positive and still think happy thoughts even if the future is bleak. They escape their present situation by being overexpose to television’s teleserye and believing that life is as simple as that. They look around them and in spite of being dissatisfied with what they see, they would think “everything’s going to be alright,” “it will pass” or “it’ll get better”, and “I can cope”. Filipinos should learn to express their discontent and stop pretending everything will be alright and its fun in the Philippines. They should voice out their concern regarding how the government and public servants mismanaged opportunities and use their job to exploit and steal from the people. They should feel shame and dissatisfaction with mediocre works and behavior. I think that’ll be a good start for them to get out of the bad habit they are in. As to the absence of balance, where there is lack of discipline and presence of huge ego, there should be shame and humility. If one can’t apologize for his or her mistake and consider wrong as right, people will never learn the lesson and will continue making the same mistake.

      2. Makikisawsaw lang… hahah

        Aldub lagay mo, babasahin nila… then will go… “ay, pangmatalino…” *clicksXbutton*

        The traffic enforcers at Cubao LOVE the chicharon they “get” from the 2 bus companies that travel to and from where I live. This is an “automatic” just so the “terminals” are allowed at Farmer’s Market.

        And let’s not forget the daily Php 20-50 pesos lagay to escape getting a “ticket” for loading/unloading at non-designated areas.

        I think you’re right. The law enforcement here should be like our moms’ discipline, but we’re talking here about the discipline from the ’80s and before that. Why? Because parents now are lax. Their kids now can control their parents. Just look at Judy Anne’s commercial, her kid is playing and doesn’t want to eat what’s served. Oh, if that was in my day, my dear boy, it’s either you stop playing and eat what’s in front of you, or not eat at all.

  13. We left Philippines 15 years ago, during the time i stayed in our country im fully aware what is happining in our society. Because i grew up in poverty-stricken family so i learned to value life.They time that i spent in our beloved country im just like other ordinary filipino that just following the system. But when i migrate and live to other countries i realized how so sick our society. Our ordinary people are bombarded with telenovelas and noon time shows that becomes the cultures and past time of our people. This TV shows becomes the issue of the nation instead of other important matters…People of walks of life are not following the simple motorist signs, they dont even follow the lanes and they lack of dicipline in public places.We need to have a radical revolution in our country in order to reset everything.. From people ,government, tv station,bureaucracy, our military, politicians everything need to start and restart to have an order in Philippine society. Only in this country that traffic inforcer is dancing instead of focusing his mind to the flow of traffic, only in this country that plundered is elected again as a mayor. Only in this country that the political system are too complicated with too many different party. Only in this country that the justice system is too slow, only in this country that the police force are bodyguards of the mayor, governors, congressman and so on and so forth. Every thing needs to change radically right now because if not this will just getting worst…oh and only in this country that mchildren are going to school with their bare foot and have to climbed cliffs just to go to school ( pathetic DPWH govt official they cannot even build bridges to those poor student)

    1. The DPWH comment made me smile. Near my farm they just completed a 4-meter-wide concrete road. It goes from nowhere, to nowhere. It starts on a dirt track, and ends at a river. There is no traffic on it apart from the occasional motorcycle or carabao (farm owners). In other words, it was a complete and total waste of money.

      Nothing wrong with building farm roads, of course; but all that’s needed (as in my home country) is a one-meter-wide strip of concrete with a 500kg axle rating. The DPWH could have concreted the entire track, all the way back to the highway, past all the farms and houses, if they’d done that. The economic value of the entire area would have doubled instantly. Instead, there’s a completely useless lump of concrete, big enough to roll an 18-wheeler over, which is of no use to anyone. Pinoy Pride!

      1. @Marius: I wonder who designed that road you are talking about. I have a feeling I know him/them.

        Not only that, how sure are we that the materials used in that project is what was specified in the design.

        In fairness to the width, perhaps that can be compared to Add’s comment on Changi Airport’s size. But then again, was there really a study made to come up with that road width? Well, at least one road is prepared for… 200 years(?)

        1. I can only assume it was done for a single purpose: so that somebody could cream off a lot of the funding for it without anyone important noticing. It’s literally in the middle of nowhere.

          As for the width: most roads are designed for a 30-60 year lifespan. In that timeframe, gasoline vehicles will be obsolete. The reason it’s 4m wide is because EVERY road is 4m wide. A civil engineer I know told me that every road in the Philippines is built to a cookie-cutter recipe from American design specs, presumably because Filipinos just don’t have the ingenuity to design anything to fit the situation.

          The Philippines is not Singapore; they don’t have an LKY with a big vision. Therefore, every $ they spend should have the maximum economic impact.

          As built, that road is useless, because even if there were a productive farm at one end of it (there isn’t) the farmer would only be able to get his truckful of produce one-third of the way to the highway. The rest is a mud track that is impassable if it rains. They might as well have poured the concrete into a hole in the ground.

          They could have spent the same money on a smaller road, surfaced all the way to the highway, and it would have been of enormous benefit to the whole area. In my country, farms use scooters with trailers to move things around. This is extremely effective, and they don’t need a full-width road.

  14. Singapore had Lee Kuan Yew but the Philippines had Rizal. Therefore, the Philippines could have advanced and progressed earlier than Singapore or other neighboring countries in the region, couldn’t it?

    If Rizal hardly had any impact to each and every Filipino, who would ever like Lee Kuan Yew?

    Is it that the Filipino mentality really different from those of the others that when they’re advancing the Filipinos keep on regressing?

  15. @SAMMY, I think you missed the message. There a 3 Points are Sub Topics. The words in between the Sub Topics is where the information is.

    Ask your mommy to read it to you slowly.

  16. Our country will not be the same status as Singapore except in Davao City & you know why when you’ll go to that city. And if you think that Duterte will be the next LKY, you might be right however many of our people will not vote for him on 2016 due to in fact that Filipinos are culturally hard-headed, dumb, “mababaw na kaligayahan” & having a crab mentality. Unless if Duterte will invent a brainwashing device that could change the culture & attitude of the Filipinos from being ignorant, undisciplined & low morale into an almost a super race then Philippines will finally become the Singapore 2.0.

    1. Hi, mrericx. You’re correct. Singapore is the game to beat, and Davao / Duterte is the closest comparison in the Philippines. Davao does prove that we can do it with the right leadership.

      IIdas Articles always make me stop and think. She made the point that Singapore was tiny, only 716 Sq KM. So how did LKY make it into an International Power House, while Philippines got stuck. So, I crunched some numbers; the results are interesting.

      PH has 18 Regions. Of those 18 Regions, only NCR is smaller in area than Singapore. The average area of the 18 Regions is 16,565 Sq KM.

      PH population is 100,998,375 (2015 CIA).

      Divide PH population by 18 Regions, you get an average Regional Population of 5,611,020.

      So, each PH Region would have a population roughly equivalent to Singapore 5,674,472 (2015 CIA) and
      an average area 23 times larger than Singapore.

      Here’s the scary part. Singapore’s per capita GDP is US$ 82,800 (2014 CIA) and Philippines per capita GDP is US$ 7,000.(“)

      In 1965, LKY began running Singapore like a business (every Sq Meter generated US$ X), and Philippines like a Low Tech Hacienda (Cheap Labor, Low yield).

      The good news is, Philippines can still develop all 18 Regions to Developed Nation Status within a few years, but we need to choose our leaders from a list “Best and Brightest”, not a menu of the “Rich and Famous Dynasties”.

      1. I would like to make a comment on what you said Go Rico on this quote:

        “The good news is, Philippines can still develop all 18 Regions to Developed Nation Status within a few years, but we need to choose our leaders from a list “Best and Brightest”, not a menu of the “Rich and Famous Dynasties”.”

        On that quote that you’d said, Mr. Go Rico is very similar to what this countdown list about how our gov’t will learn on LKY especially on #1 spot:


        A solution on that one is none other than giving a good education to the majority Filipino BOBOTANTES. Teach them on why they shouldn’t vote a very popular & powerful politician or candidates during the elections in our country instead they should vote them on a politician or a candidate who are uncorrupt, smart, not a traditional politician, he/she knows how he/she could love our country & our people by being a humble person & not an “epal” type of person & using his/her national interest and not on his/her personal interest, and that my friend we will do that in order to become our country as the next Singapore. 😉

        1. Thank you for the reply and comment, mrericx, and for understanding my point.

          I understand that Philippines is uncomfortable about changing things, but the Politicians in Manila leave us no choice. They never deliver the progress they promise, so Filipinos will create our own progress and economy, and find new leaders to serve our interest.

        2. You’re most welcome, mrericx, I enjoy the dialogue.

          AGREED, we should always look for the “Best and Brightest” men and women to lead.

          If we can find some more like Sen. Miriam Santiago, life really would be more fun in the Philippines!!!

  17. I do not believe, we even come close to Singapore. Our negative culture and character are now ingrained in our bones. They are in our DNA.

    The average Filipino is, naturally stupid and naive…we have no discipline…

    Only a full awakening of ourselves, and purging away those negative characters; can we become better people. This begins with our leaders.

    1. Well said, Hayden!!! Negative Culture and Naive, maybe, but stupid? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Filipinos, in my opinion, are just exhausted from 50 years of failed leadership.

      Change the leaders and inspire the people, there’s a lot of pent up energy here just waiting to go to accomplish

  18. Nice article. There are tons of solutions that could solve traffic unfortunately instead of THINKING of Solutions they’d rather think how they’ll earn first. There are models out there that can be emulated take for example Bogota Columbia’s Transmilenio a Bus Rapid Transit system, imagine these buses act like MRT’s where 1 bus goes from North Edsa all the way to MOA without stopping and another bus stops every station. People from within the city get shuttled by smaller coaster like buses to the terminals. I believe yo get the point. Mass transit without huge infrastructure spendings. Take out the private buses and dare I say even the Jeeps. As nostalgic as we are to these rides we must learn to move forward and find better means for transport. We could also use Pasig river in crossing cities via Ferry etc. I think we the people know what needs to be done it’s How we get through to the government and make them think and act is the challenge. Really Frustrating!

    1. You’re on target, Nicholas. Technology is EVERYWHERE but this Government resists everything unless they get a piece.

      If we can help get the Anti-Political Dynasty pushed through, we’ll see some changes. If not, cannot.

    2. @Nicholas

      It seems emotion get in the way of reason in a lot of cases. This is why people can’t get rid of the jeepneys and all other bad habits holding the country back. It will take will power to overcome it.

  19. LKY, in his book, mentioned two things:

    1. “Our greatest asset was the trust and confidence of the people”

    And he explained: “These we had earned by the fight we fight we put up in behalf of them against the communists and the Malay Ultras, our refusal to be browbeaten and cowed at a time when the police and the army were both in the hands of the central government.”

    Trust and confidence? I’m ready to trust a leader if I have a good reason to do so. Question: Who among our past leaders you can really can count on to? And who among these wannabes you want to trust? I asked because I want us to look back if did we really had the potential to be a “Singapore” or if we can get that in the next 6 years or more based on who we put in office.

    After World War II, do we still look at our armed forces as our defender or politics have gravely stained their image that we look to them now as bodyguards and/or henchmen of politicians and businessmen? Personally, though I don’t approve it, had it been that our military doesn’t do mutiny every now and them, I would have lost my trust and confidence to them. But since they cry foul sometimes, I take that that they still have a pulse and not mere tools of oppression by the wicked.

    2) “The other valuable asset we had was our people-hardworking, thrifty, eager to learn.”

    I believe a lot of Filipinos have these traits as well. We also have that asset. But LKY added, “…I believed a fair and even-handed policy would get them to live peacefully together, especially if such hardships as unemployment were shared equally and not carried mainly by minority groups.”

    Question: Do you think our policies really promote “equal-opportunity?” Hardships are shared by all? One close friend of mine once told me that at a young age around 10 (which would be between ’70s to ’80s) she already knew that in order to survive in our country, you need to have connections. You need to get ahead of others by licking boots of those already at the top. You can’t play fair in the field otherwise you’ll die of hunger. I understood what she meant when I attended one government bidding. I can only sigh.

    I’m not saying that Singapore is a paradise. I’ve never been there and I don’t know anyone from there. But LKY has a point. These are some of the many pointers we should think about as a nation and I mean we: us too not only our leaders.

    Source: “From Third World to First World” – Lee Kwan Yew

    1. Vincent,
      I get paid for 8 hrs per day but I do my work in 6. Not because I work hard but because I do my work efficiently and bec I am good at it. Remaining 2 hrs I work on other stuff mostly already for the next day or I go home early.

    2. Correct, Vincent. Singapore is NOT paradise, but it’s pretty close.

      I am convinced that if we can recruit good new leaders instead just voting from the short list of proven dummies and criminals, yes, Philippines can be Singapore and MORE!!

      However, Singapore is a high stress society. When Philippines becomes clean and progressive like Singapore, I hope we keep the smiles and charming personality that Filipinos are famous for.

  20. Not to mention that the local media is draining the brains of the masses. This leaves them with hearts overfilled with emotions without any brains to keep them in check.

  21. It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment.

    Those are just one of the few thousand traits that Singapore has made and achieved.

    As for the Failippines, well, Failipinos can’t make nor achieve even a single one.

  22. Ok na sana eh. But why pin the election of Cory as the start of the 3rd issue?! It shows an utter lack of historical appreciation! Also, no need to use SG as yardstick. We can become great without becoming “another Singapore”. Iba ang culture, values, resources at lahat lahat na dito sa atin. So iba rin ang kalalabasan ng isang great PH!

    1. Cory destroyed everything that the Filipino once had in order to appease her sponsors and sparked a dark age for our country that we did not deserve to have. EDSA revolution is a means to the end of those who wanted their puppets back and the Freedom Constitution had brought nothing but enslavement and retrogression to our people and to our nation. We didn’t earn the title “Sick Man of Asia” after Marcos left and that housewife sat in the Malacanang Palace without a good reason, you know.

      Just because there’s a lot of differences between two states doesn’t mean that the prosperity that both nations could have will be different as well. Philippines could have outranked many prospering South East Asian countries if our resources and manpower are used correctly and our current system isn’t broken and shitty. Philippine could have been Singapore in a large scale if we pushed ourselves even harder. Philippines wouldn’t be suffering at all if the 2% of the populace did not jumped the gun when some priest told them to go to EDSA and force one of the best leaders that we had to pick between shooting down the people that he loved and nurtured or give in to the oligarchs who wanted to run the country in their own perverted ideals.

      I hate to say it but EDSA revolution’s successes involved no one dying in it in the process while kicking out the “corrupt” leader and destroy the old constitution to install a corrupt government and create a corrupt constitution.

  23. I confess, IIda, “3 Things” is my all time favorite Article. It’s the Nexus of all critical issues presented by the talented “GRP Think Tank”.

    Example – Anti-intellectual attitudes discourage critical debate. (Discussion and Planning)

    When Singapore plans for expansion, they consult with MIT, develop and follow a World Class plan, then Singapore Markets the Plan as a Turn-Key Model for other Cities.

    Singapore learned the value of intellect and research as a TOOL for GROWTH and a PRODUCT for REVENUE.

    The Philippines has GREAT ENGINEERS, but their designs and recommendations must be filtered through Patronage Politics and Perverted Democracy and end up as another PPP Scheme that features clauses that ensure Zero Transparency and Weak Law Enforcement (leads to lack of discipline)

    The contrast is stark. Singapore is the “Emerald City” and Manila looks like the “Depths of Mordor” as conceived by Vice Ganda.

    With the “Stroke of a Pen” (50 Million pens, actually), Philippines can be “Singapore and MORE”.

    Eliminating Political Dynasties will 1) Resolve the Patronage Politics and Perverted Democracy issue and 2) Unleash Philippines pool of Intellectual and Technical Talent and 3) Empower the Philippines “Best and Brightest” Legal minds to write (and enforce) more Just and Uniform Laws.

    CHEERS, Good Luck and GOD Speed

    1. @Go Rico

      Thanks again for the compliment.

      Indeed, the solution is simple but the majority are reluctant to change and averse to discussing the things that need changing.

  24. I agree with content of this article. My wife of 25 years often says that she is embarrassed with the behavior (lack of respect and lack of discipline)of many Filipinos, and particularly the younger generation. It is also hard to understand that every day you see groups of students roaming around the Shopping Malls at all times of the day. Do they ever have “home work” to complete? Le Kwan Yew was very much a disciplinarian which has worked for Singapore. Philippines needs STRONG Government Leaders to enforce the discipline and ensure that education is made a priority. Philippines has so much going for it and it troubles me greatly that it is not reaching its full potential as a result of poor, corrupt management of its leaders.

    1. Hi, Mel, thanks for your comment. First, congratulations on 25 years of marriage, and please convey thanks to your wife for choosing to be a teacher, societies highest calling.

      I agree, children in general and the new generation in particular needs discipline, but more importantly, they need interactive models.

      In this case, they have chosen the Mall over their School as their model environment.

      Malls survive or die on customer traffic. Malls offer safe, clean, air conditioned comfort and a mix of entertainment, services and social environments to attract people in order to sell something. Malls area Return on Investment

      I am not suggesting that Schools should be as attractive and fun as Malls, but investments in fully equipped classrooms (Computers, Visual Aids, Instruments), lighting, air conditioning, safe drinking water, lunch facilities, after school activities such as sports, art, theater and music would demonstrate to Students that the Philippines is as committed to educating them as SM Malls is to selling them something.

      Finally but most importantly, PAY THE TEACHERS LIKE PROFESSIONALS!!! If you pay the best, you get the best. If teachers are enthusiastic and happy, students will reciprocate.

      All these things will cost a lot of money, but in the end, it’s cheaper to inspire self discipline than to enforce discipline.

      1. Rico,
        We actually always reverse your statement


        We always say:
        If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

        The best paid teachers are those who teach at a university. But those teachers themselves need a grade/title like PhD or higher.

        In Dutch language those titles are:

        Doctorandus (abbreviated: Drs.) https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctorandus
        (equals MSc or MA)

        Doctoranda (abbreviated: Dra.; the female version of the above)



        1. Robert, I’m actually surprised you said the best teachers who get paid are those in university. In the UK and certainly in the US, uni teachers live on the edge as most institutions now prefer to hire hourly-paid teachers who live on the basis of adjunct contracts.

          I’m in fact thinking that there is more job security if you land a university teachership in the Philippines than in the US or UK.

        2. Paolo,
          Let me elaborate a little. University students are “raised” academically and raised to be the future decision & policy makers.
          This is in part why the teachers are not only the best but are also paid the best (compared to teachers in secondary, high school and/or vocational education).

          In the entire Netherlands, teachers get a contract for the duration of at least one (1) school year. When a female teacher is on maternity leave, she will be replaced by a teacher who is already teaching at the same university OR will be replaced by someone temporarily from outside the university.

          Furthermore: truancy (not coming/going to class/school) by pupils will be fined. This only applies to pupils till the age of 16. Because we have compulsory education till that age. So when your daughter/son is spending time in a mall while she/he had to be in class then you as parent get to pay a fine. Why? Because you as parent are responsible for your own kid.
          How does this work? The school will report you to the right authority and that governing body will go to the parents’ address or the parents will receive a notification by snail mail.

        3. Paolo,
          last but not least:
          Regardless of the education (Kindergarten, elementary, secondary, high school or college): kids (pupils) that become a pain in the ass (in behavior during class) will ultimately be expelled from school. Those kids are also known as screw ups and/or “drop outs”.

          In my country there is no such thing as free education. Parents have to pay tuition per child per school year from the moment a kid attends Kindergarten up till (and including) university.

        4. Robert,

          It’s almost uncanny how similar our views are.It’s actually in our Company Handbook “If we wanted to hire monkeys, we would pay with peanuts. We pay in STEAK so we get TIGERS.

          Professors with PhDs in Philippines should pay P2.5 Million with merit bonuses.

        5. Rico,
          Actually its very simple (in my country).
          You only finished elementary school then you will most likely be and stay unemployed for the rest of your life. And when you are able to find a job, it will pay virtually nothing. Why should I (as employee) pay you big bucks while you didnt achieve a thing (with school)?
          Thank god for minimum wages, even such a person can have a life. Too rich to die, too poor to do anything substantial with his income.

          The higher your degree, the higher the pay. Its as simple as that.

          BUT if I (as employee) have one job opening and there are zillions who apply then it becomes a matter of demand & supply. You (as prospect employer) dont like it then its take it or leave it.

          Moral of the story, the work force should never exceed the number of jobs.
          Together with increasing current jobs that are automated and robotized, the need for labour/work force will decrease more and more.

          To project (copy) this on a country like the Philippines, its much better if and when the overall total population would decrease and decrease fast and soon.

          But will that happen? Unfortunately no. Not when the typical John/Jane Do (or should I say Juan/Maria?) is still in charge about what happens in the bedroom. As long as people cant look ahead into the future but live more on an ad hoc (Carpe Diem. The Spanish would say “Mañana, mañana”) mentality then we get what we see each and everyday in the Philippines.
          They are digging their own grave (so to speak).

    2. @Mel

      It is disappointing to see young students just walking around the malls, indeed. They are exposed to too much commercialism. It would have been better if they were hanging out in nature where they can be inspired by natural beauty. In the malls, they won’t have the opportunity to hear themselves think.

  25. The anti-intellectual culture is pathetic. Most Filipinos shut you up for speaking about politics, science, etc., because the lives of celebrities are more interesting. Evidence of anti-intellectuality? Filipinos hate reading books! 🙁 No wonder we have more beauty salons than bookstores.

    1. And even in the bookstores, crappy and overrated romantic books based on local crap are abundant, usually outnumbering those worthwhile books.

  26. everything you have mentioned are all true, these are the results of our cultures:
    (1) juan tamad or paasaasa (lazy)
    hindi magtratrabaho aasa nalang sa magulang
    or kapatid. or gustong yumaman in
    unscrupulous way rather than hard work.
    (2) mayabang (ego) kumita ng konti bili agad ng
    kotse or magpapainom na sa barkada. kapag
    fiesta or birthday ubos biyaya maghanda.
    kinabukasan wala ng pera
    (3) uto-uto (gullible) maabutan lang ng barya,
    t-shirt or rosaryo iboboto na..
    (4) walang pakialam (what’s in it for me) hindi
    makikialam kung wala silang mahihita
    (5) lagay (bribe) this is why we have a weak law
    enforcement. also the padrino or kumpare

  27. Ilda, this is an interesting piece you wrote. I am struck by point nos 1 and 3. I can’t help but think of what happened in Thailand where Thaksin was elected with a large mandate in 2001 and 2005 but was kicked out because the rich people and middle class did not want him. They argue that Thailand did not need democracy but good governance. But on the other hand, I think it is also important that we let the less fortunate here (who seem to favour Binay) that the rest of society has empathy for them. I think this empathy, relatability, and a chance to become part of the system makes them want to vote these leaders.

    Yes we need to promote discipline, but do it in a way where to the common person, they can FEEL they are part of the system. It is a delicate balance between changing these habits and empathy.

    1. @ Ron, I can’t speak for IIda, but my interpretation of “3 Things” was constructive criticism.

      Last weeks Article by IIda, “Noynoy Aquino is the worst president the Philippines ever had” pretty well covered the besmirching. Ciao.

    2. @Ron

      That’s entirely up to you. You should focus on the problems identified and decide whether you want to stick with them or get rid of them. The Aquinos are part of the problem just in case you missed it.

    3. Ron, why are you attacking Ilda with a loaded question instead of the issue? (You are commiting the argumentum ad hominum logic fallacy, among others!) That is also a symptom of what’s wrong with the Filipino people; for the most part they lack a capacity to think logically and analytically. The result is that instead of addressing the issue, their most frequent response is to attack or insult whomever points out serious problems which need fixing, thus discouraging any possible corrections. By doing that you’re only advertising yourself as being a major part of the problem.

      Also keep in mind that it’s asinine to criticize anyone who published a discussion of a problem by suggesting that they didn’t provide an instant solution to satisfy you. They don’t have to! The only thing they have to do is present the problem and it’s nature for rational discussion among thinking adults, and it is those thinking adults whom can then collaborate on reaching possible solutions. The problems must be identified and analyzed before any possible solution can be identified.

      So, are you going to add anything constructive to the discussion, like a possible solution? If not then please let the thinking adults deal with it, since they seem to be making headway in spite of your ad hominum.

  28. In terms of number 1, one possible hindrance is a confustion of autocracy and authoritiarianism. Some recoil that authoritiarianism is dictatorship. No, dictatorship is autocracy, the boss is an autocrat. He tells you what to do in everything, what you eat, watch, sleep on, and what to think. Authoritarianism is different, you’re strict in enforcing, but you allow the basic freedoms. Singapore is authoritarian, North Korea is autocratic. And people are starving and dying in the autocratic country.

  29. Ms. Ilda
    America’s so-called assistance in recovery to The Philippines after the second world war is an evil double-edged sword. The $800 million assistance in reality is actually just a bribe in exchange for the Philippine legislature’s approval of the Bell Trade Act of 1946. The measure was approved on July 2, two days before the grant of independence from the US. (The 4th of July Independence which BenignO amiably referred to as the “real one” in one article while others considered as an “Independence With Strings Attached”). The Philippines having fought with the US with their war and thereby being devastated after, America simply knew that the offer can’t be refused! America made sure that we’re still a controlled economy even after their granting of our independence and beyond!

    Does this imply that the British are a better colonial master (to Singapore) than the Americans (to The Philippines)?

    1. One of my fave line here in GRP is “how can you have the solution if you don’t recognize there is a problem?” And so, I’m quite surprised that nobody from the proponents of GRP took note of the issue of foreign subjugation of Colonial Powers in third world countries such as The Philippines (a question raised above) which should be up here for Intellectual discussion. No one begs to differ?!

      (I understand the frustration with our present leaders and the present system but that’s another matter!)

      This will perhaps help explain it’s historical, political and socio-economic impact why Singapore achieved something that The Philippines was prevented from accomplishing!

      To wit, Singapore as early mid 18th century, was/is already a flourishing free port courtesy of the efforts of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the lieutenant governor of Bencoolen in 1818. And how the British spending in Singapore accounted for about 25 percent of Singapore’s gross national product (GNP) up in the 1960s paves the way for Singapore to make other things possible.

      Comparatibly for the Philippines with same time period, we knew our experience with Spain, the Americans and the Japanese. We did not have something like Singapore had. Instead the colonial masters taught us to become docile obedient dogs, to be plain followers and laborers. The filipino intellectuals and leaders who dared were either persecuted, exiled or erased. No wonder that even up to this time the late great Filipino Intellectual in Mr. Marcos despite being dead for years is still being demonized worlwide. (But the bright guy
      had it planned years ahead!) Only a handful of sites, the likes of Executive Intelligence Review of Mr. Larouche and former World Bank
      lawyer Karen Hudes beg to differ and dare to expose what they know (which unfortunately the ph media don’t want to talk about)!

      With the resources that we have still waiting to be harness by us, it seems we’re too precious for them just to let go!

      Nice article and more power!

  30. I was just in High School when Martial law was declared – but I already notice the changes in Society that the Marcos Govt instituted… the most notable of all was that everybody followed the rules – from the rich to the jeepney driver…. there were no squatters, there was no drugs because a drug dealer was put before a firing squad – and the guys who were running govt were all best and the brightest at that time…. most of the projects still being implemented came from the plans made during that time… unfortunately, Marcos didnt have time to organized an orderly succession… he got sick and was not in control any more…. On the matter of Singapore – I have only one thing to say – are the Singaporeans a happy people at this time?

  31. i think filipinos basically can be a disciplined people especially when they are out of the country…just like most of those working or staying abroad been doing, and sometimes they even excel or got famous professionally … they even work harder compare with other nationalities …. but i think what most filipinos nowadays were lacking …was that they already lost the sense for the common good … they`re only thinking of their personal interest and not for the good of everybody….

    1. Jet, you’re EXACTLY right!! We have several areas in the US with large Filipino populations and they excel and thrive at every opportunity.

      That’s what surprised me most when I moved to Philippines. Generally, the population seems exhausted and frustrated from decades of bad leadership and no improvement.

      If we can find some leaders with vision and integrity, the first sign of progress will be the beginning, and success breeds more success.

    2. Completely agree. I get the impression that what most third-world countries need is an effective police and justice system. The Philippines is no different. 90% of the population, it seems, just want to get on with their lives. That hope is spoiled by the other 10% who know that they can commit any crime they like, and there will be no comeuppance.

      So here’s an idea: bring in a million-strong team of police and magistrates from Europe, and get them to enforce the law – across the whole society, including officials who think they’re untouchable. Use a spare island to build a massive prison colony, and maroon a million incorrigible Pinoys on it until they learn to behave like human beings. The Philippines would be up and running again within six months.

      Not going to happen, of course. Pinoys would first have to admit that they’ve failed miserably at running their own country, and strike out those clauses in the constitution that prevent foreign ‘interference’.

  32. I really agree with your article. Thank you for having the exact words for my thoughts. I had the chance to live in Singapore for a year. In my stay there,everyday i question myself what if this could be the Philippines? The air is clean so as the grounds and even the water coming from toilets and faucets!!!
    Moreover, singaporeans display what discipline is. The police,both men and women are well respected and really approachable not to mention their perfect grooming which exposed their good looks ????.
    Singaporeans know how to value every resources they have. They take advantage of the opportunity and their government are so willing to give the people a lot. If your going to visit their hawker center, turo turo in Ph,people who eat there are not just the masses but also of the elite. You cant distinguish which is which either. An almost perfect society that is . there’s no rich no poor mentality.
    How i wish to live in a place like singapore.
    If singapore can, the Ph also can!

  33. pls dont compare SG vs PH.. u cannot even compare SG vs Malaysia..
    the problems here is SG are different from PH.. philippines have already their PH50 in the 50s, 60s and we are top in Asia.. ‘booming population’ is totally false and a real problem here as foreigners are much larger than local.. just think if add more cities here in SG and u would not think how to compare… Filipinps have our own problem that is how we deal with it.. dont compare!

    1. Here’s more comparison between Singapore and the Philippines for your reading pleasure! 😀

      The Philippines with its population of 96 million registered a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $117 billion in 2006. Singapore for its part, with its relatively paltry population of 4.6 million delivered a GDP of $132 billion on the same year.

    2. philippines have already their PH50 in the 50s, 60s and we are top in Asia.. ‘booming population’ is totally false and a real problem here as foreigners are much larger than local..

      Sorry, I don’t get this.

      1. Phils have already experienced our first 50 years and we are on top in Asia that time, meaning we have already achieve the same thing before… Singapore have yet to experience their 100years, if by that time can u say.u can guarantee that Singapore will be as great as today just because of this things they implement? Indonesia & Malaysia are also corrupt, and mostly all Asian countries as well… They are all older than Singapore and they still have the same problem as ours.. Singapore has their own problems despite of this so-called policies you want to replicate to Phils. We need to.change to what is Phils right now, and it would take years to change our culture and mentality

        1. Phils have already experienced our first 50 years and we are on top in Asia that time, meaning we have already achieve the same thing before…

          When exactly did this happen? Can you give us a link to where you read that the “Philippines was on top in Asia” and that we have already achieved before what Singapore has achieved?

          It’s like you’re saying that we peaked and then went downhill. We never really took off.

        2. Pinoy k ba? Don’t u know that Phils have their golden era from 1940s-1970s.. thats the reason we have – ‘Pearl of the Orient’. We are the paradise of Asia Considering the technology that time, we are one of the top countries in Asia – economy, military & people. We are among the firat in Asia to get fighter jets & establish the first airline.. This are mostly the first 50 years of Phils as a nation.. Check the history of Singapore and know why they have such laws then u would understand.. Check from their local people today and u would know what is their sentiment towards their govt.. Phils has gone through a lot of challenges than Singapore after the first 50yeas until now.. If they can survive that kind of experience after their 50 years perhaps u would appreciate the Phils more on the PH50..

        3. @davey

          The “golden era” you are talking about is gone – ruined by Filipino dysfunctional culture. Besides, as mentioned in my article, the country’s perceived advancement in development compared to other asian neighbours back then was not entirely due to the hard work and ingenuity of Filipinos; it was because of the Americans who assisted in the recovery after World War II. Why do you think we can’t go back to the same status now that we are “independent”?

          Regarding Singapore, there will always be those who will complain about the policies of the government but the majority do not have a problem with it especially since the country is progressive and since they can see where their taxes are going.

        4. Delusional guy. We only had those jets and infrastructure because the US and Japan (through their reparations) gave them to us. We basically threw money at the problem in those days. And now the money has run out and we don’t know where to get more. … Fast forward to today, we’re back to begging for alms.

        5. typical deluded Pinoy. If you want to get a feel for the atmosphere in those “Pearl of the Orient” days, read what happened to the Beatles during their visit.

          A little excerpt:

          “As soon as KLM flight 862 aircraft rose up from the runway at 4.45pm that afternoon our entire party broke into spontaneous applause. George leant across the aisle between his seat and mine and said to me: ‘The only way I’d ever go back to that place would be to drop a dirty big bomb on it.’ “

      2. Phils is already 100+ years old than SG’s50.
        Our first 50yrs we are on top of Asia.. Would you guarantee that SG will still be the same after next 50years? A lot of Asian countries are corrupt and they have the same laws like Singapore, but they still have the problem as ours.. Check Singapore’s history and background first before you make comparison.. Singapore’s problems are very different from Phils so no comparison.. Phils must change from what it is today, not to copy whatever is OK for other countries.. If u do not live in Singapore don’t compare to what is and what is not..

        1. You’re not making any sense. When did the Philippines gain independence? What’s your basis in saying PH is already 100+ years old? You seem to think that since the Philippines is older than Singapore, there is no point comparing the two countries.

          Would you guarantee that SG will still be the same after next 50years?

          If they maintain law and order and continue evolving, yes.

          A lot of Asian countries are corrupt and they have the same laws like Singapore, but they still have the problem as ours..

          Obviously, you didn’t get the point of the article. It doesn’t matter if other countries have laws against particular crimes; if they are not going to enforce them, they won’t achieve their goal.

          Singapore’s problems are very different from Phils so no comparison.. Phils must change from what it is today, not to copy whatever is OK for other countries…

          The article didn’t say “copy Singapore”. The article said we should learn from Singapore in managing our people and resources. It doesn’t necessarily mean to copy every policy. Don’t be too proud to learn from other cultures.

      3. This view has always interested me. A lot of people equate the 50’s and 60’s as the best times, citing mostly Marcos propaganda materials but what I’d really like to see are actual figures, like standards of living, access to education, Healthcare and not only in Metro Manila and Ilocos but the whole country. Then compare it with what we have now. For starters Hospital bed/person, Mortality, per capita, etc.

        Statements that we were number then doesn’t really mean anything in quantifying if we are better then than now.

        One thing is for sure, items considered as luxury before we now consider as standard requirements. i.e. TV, Refrigerators, etc and is accessible by most. And someone will argue that those are basic necessities. Well majority of the people from the 50’s 60’s don’t have them and yet they lived through.

        What the country needs really is Education, education so people learn to think and for them to realize that the only way change will come is for us to demand change. And the way to do that is to exercise our political rights.

        I think most people have a more stringent set of criteria when they are looking for household help than when choosing a president.

        1. Your name in Japanese means zero. Probably 0% critical thinking: a no-brainer who acts like some wandering fool from nowhere.

  34. Just say your pro Marcos, you’re just insulting your readers by assuming they are dumb and will not get it. You don’t have to write an article about singapore and have some other hidden agenda. Marcos committed extreme abuse, he is a grand thief and he ruined the Philippines.

    1. What’s up with this moronic obsession with whether one is pro-Whats-his-face or anti-Whats-her-pwet anyway?

      Kaya nga secret ballot e. People should focus on having the conviction to vote who they personally believe is the right candidate using the right reasons to do so instead of kibitzing on who other people plan to vote for.

      This kind of primitivst thinking and regard for stuff that is none of their business rather than focusing on what is important is the reason the Philippines (and the Filipino communities I observe abroad) has been reduced to wretched hives of idiocy — because Filipinos are focused on intrigahan rather than on thinking the way modern human beings do.

    2. John, SNAP OUT of IT, MAN!! This is NOT about Pro – or Anti anybody PERSONALLY. Marcos, Aquino, GMA, Estrada et al are all on the same TEAM!!!! Their TEAM will NEVER, EVER WORK for us. EVER.

      Their TEAM has hundreds of years of experience in Divide and Conquer, turning our people into fighting factions, then they rule over what remains.

      The comparison to Singapore is not to humiliate Filipinos, but to illustrate how bad our leaders (ALL OF THEM) have been over the past 50 years.

      If the comparison makes us angry, then it’s time to Man-Up, Stand Up and take control of OUR DESTINY.

    3. JohnM’s comment is another version of “eh di wow! response. Anti-intellectual attitude is evident in the way he accuses the writer of being pro-Marcos instead of focusing on the message of the article. There are many Filipinos like him, which is why intelligent discussions do not prosper.

      1. @IIda, you’re right again and I guess we just learn to deal with them patiently.

        On the other hand, why should critics get a free ride on GRP?

        NEW RULE: “Commenters are free to comment on Public and/or Political Personalities, provided they include at least one positive recommendation or a realistic solution to a National Issue”.

        1. They are just trying to discredit the writers here. Our detractors won’t give recommendation or solution because that’s not their reason for commenting. They only want to spread negative propaganda.

    4. >implying that Marcos started the problem and the implementation of the 1987 Constitution is good and perfect and even in 1942


    5. The son of the yellowtards has spoken. According to him, he’s an idiot and we can’t deny it. Thanks for (wasting your time on this ignoramus).

  35. Ilda, this is an interesting piece you wrote. I am struck by point nos 1 and 3. I can’t help but think of what happened in Thailand where Thaksin was elected with a large mandate in 2001 and 2005 but was kicked out because the rich people and middle class did not want him. They argue that Thailand did not need democracy but good governance. But on the other hand, I think it is also important that we let the less fortunate here (who seem to favour Binay) that the rest of society has empathy for them. I think this empathy, relatability, and a chance to become part of the system makes them want to vote these leaders.

    Yes we need to promote discipline, but do it in a way where to the common person, they can FEEL they are part of the system. It is a delicate balance between changing these habits and empathy.

    1. @Paolo

      The law should be applied equally to all. Members of the law enforcement agencies should not distinguish between rich and poor. If the poor break the law, they need to suffer the consequences. Same goes with the rich.

      1. Ilda, I’m on board with you on that.

        All I am saying is that when we put on education campaigns on good governance, we need to be sensitive to the targets of these campaigns. Research finds that they can find them insulting.

  36. I agree with you llda. Your point of view is nicely laid out and spot on. We ,the citizens of this beloved country the Philippines, and its electorate should keep an open mind, think! Never again be fooled or swayed by the media, surveys, propagandas of politicians, based on personality or popularity. 29 years of uncertainty is too much. So many things have missed and slipped away, time wasted because of bad decisions. So now, lets all be intelligent enough to choose our leader. Someone who is tough, smart and driven. A leader that has courage and political will, and can make quick action and decisions. Intelligent and knows how to run a government. A leader who can make this nation great again.

    1. Thanks, rolando! Someone who can unite Filipinos would be a good start. At the moment partisanship is preventing Filipinos from having a decent dialogue.

  37. I’m sure no one can disagree on the general points of all three items. The Philippines can do with a bit more discipline. However, one thing caught my eye.

    “just look at how President BS Aquino treats his allies. When people see others get away with violating the law just by being friends with those in power or by bribing those in power, their natural tendency is to emulate or copy what they see”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t this system of Impunity where the rich, the powerful and friends of the powerful can get away with anything in this country? Wasn’t the Philippines always the kind of place where justice is completely lopsided? You make it sound as if it only came about when the President took office.

    BTW, I do know that he is blindly loyal to his friends which is something I’m frustrated with as well.

    1. Patronage is a long-time Filipino tradition and the Aquinos did not start it. What is being pointed out here is the hypocrisy in their rhetoric and the saintly image they painted of themselves.

      When someone is held to a high standard on the back of their lofty promises of goodness and the ‘straight path’, they inadvertently attract more critical scrutiny.

      That’s what happens when the true colours of a person emerge, his pretentiousness becomes stark, and the void where substance should have been starts to ring ever louder with every additional word he utters in his lame attempt to salvage what is left of his credibility.

      1. I really need to look up words to really understand the Philippine meaning of that word. And so I did with patronage.

        Political patronage, also known as “Padrino System” also a slang call as balimbing (starfruit), in the Philippines, has been the source of many controversies and corruption. It has been an open secret that one cannot join the political arena of the Philippines without mastery of the Padrino System. From the lowest Barangay official, to the President of the Republic, it is expected that one gains political debts and dispenses political favor to advance one’s career or gain influence, if not wealth.

      2. You’re exactly right, benignO!!

        Talk is cheap and BS “Straight Path” talk should be backed up with some action.

        Paying Senators P 50 Mil each to Impeach, selecting from a short list of political opponents for prosecution and personally driving JLN to the Police Station is not a very straight path.

        Instead of just talking, Sen Santiago actually Wrote and submitted Anti Dynasty Bills.

        Lesson learned: If it isn’t written, it isn’t real.

      3. That is the Machiavellian way. And all politicians are guilty of this rhetoric.

        BTW LLDA chief Acosta and his Mother has been found Guilty of graft charges. And this is where I wonder why people always say that LP is persecuting its enemies? (Have become standard palusot of those charged). The way I see it Pnoy is owing up to his choices (not always good) but he is not getting in the way of prosecution. I think this admin has charged more people than previous administrations and including from their own party.

        Grace Poe definitely paints herself saintly.

    2. @hack_gu_haseo

      Since you are aware of BS Aquino’s “blind loyalty to his friends”, then you should have already understood the point raised in the article about patronage politics. To reiterate, when people see others get away with violating the law just by being friends with those in power or by bribing those in power, their natural tendency is to emulate or copy what they see.

      BS Aquino may not have started the trend, but he perpetuates patronage politics in Philippine society.

  38. Nice article. Point #3 regarding Cory Aquino being the first woman president who you mentioned promoted mediocrity instead of excellence. Marcos was a bar topnotcher, an excellent orator, ruled the country with an iron fist for 20 years or so. But he was humbled by a reluctant housewife, a mediocre, meek and humble. Don’t you find that amazing? BTW, I’m a huge fan of Kris TV and It’s Showtime.

  39. Get registered and actually vote, instead of whining on social media. Philippine politics and religion thrives in a dumb society.

    1. I already filed for the reactivation of my voter account with my biometrics captured just in case “The Dark Knight” runs for the office.


  41. Our culture is the problem.
    All these things that holds us back are instilled in our roots from the top our society to the lowest of low. And having no discipline is the worst and the talangka attitude 2nd.

    Kahit sa sarisari store maka una at maka lamang lang sa pila laking accomplishment na yun.

    1. totoo yun . . .ang accomplishment ng ordinaryong filipino ay makapanggulang sabay tawa pag nagtagumpay sya sa kalokohan nya.

  42. Hello everyone! Do you know on why Philippines is on a state of dystopia? That’s because of what Manuel L. Quezon said on his controversial quote more 80 years ago that he’d prefer our country to be on hell that is run by our people rather than controlled by the Americans & become a paradise, and this is what our country had done it today, literally (and btw, belated happy birthday to MLQ)!!! But on 2016, this might cause a change to our country if Duterte will finally run on president & if Filipino BOBOTANTES will finally support & voted him and not Binay, Poe, Marcos, Mar, etc., etc. and I would like to show you my tweet message to prove it guys:


    1. “I prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos to a government run like heaven by Americans.”

      Although honorable people understood that Quezon was speaking metaphorically, the Political Elite seized the opportunity to take control of the Gov and has “Run it like Hell” for 80 years.

      The Spanish are gone, the Americans are gone, but Filipinos are stuck in a Hell run by Oligarchs.

      1. yes, and that’s the sad part of it Go Rico. And I don’t know if MLQ had either made a curse or he’d really predicted it about the outcome of our country if the Americans had left the Philippines on July 4, 1946. The Oligarchs [in other words: the elite, the powerful, the corrupt and the epals] ruled and made a huge mess on our country for almost a century. And if Duterte will become our next country’s next president, how will be deal with the Oligarchs politicians & businessmen besides the “pasaway” or ignorant/undisciplined Filipinos? That will be his biggest challenge for an Executive position & this is the reason why he decide not to run for a presidential position on 2016 election but I think he can do this but it takes some time & patience. As what Theodore Roosevelt said: “Speak softly & carry a big stick; you will go far,” and he might be right if Duterte will be a good leader for our country just like what he’d done in Davao City as a mayor for the past 25 years.

        1. AGREED, mrericx!!! If Duterte runs w Grace Poe as VP and wins, Philippines wins.

          If I were Pres. Duterte, I would,
          DAY ONE
          1) Issue Exec Order to activate FOI,
          2) open every contract, invoice, pay voucher and bank transfer for the last 15 years and
          3) open cases on the other 85 NGOs (BS friends) involved in PDAF.
          DAY TWO
          4) Ask Senator Santiago to withdraw her Anti -Political Dynasty Bill, and
          DAY THREE
          5) reformat it as a Initiative and Referendum Petition for signatures,
          DAY FOUR
          6) Since the Petition will disqualify 75% of Congress. a second petition
          A) Schedule special election of One Senator from each Region (No Dynasties) and
          B) special election of new Representatives (No Dynasties)
          DAY FIVE
          7) Mandate DAR to distribute 500,000 Ha. (28,000 per Region) allocating 1 Ha each to landless farmers.

          That would be a good start, hehehe.AGREED?

        2. >> Mandate DAR to distribute 500,000 Ha. (28,000 per Region) allocating 1 Ha each to landless farmers.

          Oh no, please, not that. Problem #1 is that DAR are as corrupt and incompetent as any other branch of gov’t, and would distribute that land among themselves or favoured friends. Or they would give it to borderline retards who wouldn’t understand what they’d been given, and buy it from them for a crate of red horse.

          Problem #2 is that landless peasants are landless for a reason, viz., they are not competent to hold onto it. Many of them have been given land in the past and, well .. sold it for a crate of red horse.

          NOBODY should be given something for nothing, and land is the most valuable resource the country has. People who want land should bid for it and explain what they intend to do with it. Anyone who intends to grow coconuts or rice should be disqualified out of hand.

        3. Marius, don’t forget. in this scenario, Duterte is President and he’s a gunslinger.DAR WON’T CHEAT

          The rest of the story, DAR must distribute to verifiable landless. Each farmer gets plantings of Energy crop from my NGO. Each Ha will produce 500 tons per year, NGO buys the harvest from farmers P 1,500 Ton, P 750 K per year. NGO converts the crop into electricity. 500,000 ha Nationwide yields 50,000 MW, 3 X what PH as now, and sells power direct P 6 kWh, 1/2 current price.

          So, 500,000 farmers and 125,000 technicians earn P 750,000 year and PH gets real power.


        4. I don’t want Grace Poe to be the next VP but better if it WILL be Duterte-Leni Robredo tandem on 2016. And speaking of DAR, better if Mr. Duterte should WIPE OUT the controversial Hacienda Luicita in Tarlac off the Philippine map & divide that farm land & distribute it to the poor farmers on that province & end the political dynastic powers of Aquino-Cojuangco clans in our country in which Pres. Marcos had failed to do that before, thanks to Mr. Danding in which he’d appointed him on a cabinet position & even he’d became his Marcos cronies in spite that his cousin-in-law was imprisoned during Martial Law.

        5. That’s OK, mrericx. I’m just a guest here and picked Grace at random for a VP. that’s up to Filipinos, as long as the choices are better than Binay or Roxas.

          Likewise with DAR. It’s your country, as long as the people get their Birthright returned to them, you can call the new authority RAD (Raid All Dynasties) if you want. As long as it’s organized, honest and FAST!!!

          A word of caution, taking over Haciendas must be Legal and NON VIOLENT. The world is watching 24/7 and we want the optics of Philippines progressing, NOT descending into chaos.

          Same line, CDA is pretty good for organizing farmers so the energy crops are delivered on a timely basis to generate uninterrupted fuel and power. Phil needs a lot of reliable power at the right price to support fast, sustainable growth.

        6. Sorry, goRICO, your numbers don’t add up.

          You can’t get 500 tonnes of ANYTHING per hectare. It’s not physically possible. The limit is sunlight and water.

          At the outside, you might 100-150 tonnes of sugarcane or napier if you pour loads of chemicals on it and irrigate it. Unfortunately, you’ll wreck the soil in the process – it’ll be useless within a decade. The soil is a living ecosystem, not a factory.

          Even if – for the sake of argument – you did get your 500 tonnes, you then have to get it OFF the farms. How are you going to do that with no functioning roads? What’s the cost of fuel and vehicle depreciation? And where is all that stuff going to go? What power plants are ready to burn it?

          If you solve THAT problem, 500 tonnes of napier yields 150 tonnes dry (burnable) mass, at roughly 25GJ/tonne. That represents about 400MWh of generated electricity per hectare, which is (as you said) worth nearly 1M at bulk prices. The fly in the ointment is that the farmer would spend 80% of that on farming inputs.

          400MWh sounds a lot, but it’s only 40kWh/m2/year, or 0.1kWh/m2/day average. I have a small solar installation on my land: I get nearly 1kWh/day/m2 with 20%-efficient cells, and I don’t have to cart napier grass around, or burn anything.

          Cheap, 8%-efficient panels would yield about 170kWh/m2/year. Cover one-quarter of each hectare with those, and you’ve got the 400MWh that you wanted – without assuming an unrealistic crop output of 500 tonnes/year.

          No energy crops, please, GoRICO. What the country needs is food. And common sense.

        7. No worries, marius, I only shared part of the info, but you seem to be smarter than the average commenter, so here’s some more.

          The system doesn’t “Burn Anything”, no combustion at the gasification phase(45% moisture content is no problem) or at the power generation phase.

          Gas to Power efficiency (Using Solid Oxide Fuel Cells/ Thermophotovoltaic Cells/ Micro Turbine) is 80%, and the entire system has overall emissions at virtual Zero (10,000 x cleaner than US EPA standards) (NOx >10 pp trillion, SOx > 7 pp trillion and Dioxins >3 pp Quadrillion) absolute Zero ash or smoke.

          The Napier proposed is a GMO for energy crop ONLY, no Human consumption or animal feed, and the yield is indeed 500 Tons per Ha, but the system can also totally dispose of Local Municipal Solid Waste at no charge as a public service.

          Combined high yield and high efficiency requires only 220 Ha to provide 300 TPD for Plasma Gasification and conversion to 30 MW of power. I allowed an additional 41.5 Ha for farm homes and roads and 2.5 Ha for the power plant. The relatively small footprint means less farmer drive/delivery time and decentralized power production.

          You’re exactly right about Solar Power!! It’s good now and improves everyday.The reason we chose the Napier/Plasma/Fuel Cell is to employ farmers and pay them well (P 750 K year) OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME so their Ha has real value and offers wealth creation and accumulation and begins to reduce incidence of poverty.

          You’re also correct that we need to feed the country as much as they need for the price the public wants to pay. Farmers starve for the privilege of feeding others.

          We limit input to 500 tons per farmer per year, so if the farmer wants to continue to raise rice or coconuts on the balance of his property, the guaranteed income from his single Ha of energy crop helps fund mechanized production of his secondary crop.

          I used Malaysia’s 0.50 kW per capita as a goal for Philippines power generation (100 Million x 0.5 = 50,000 MW total) which is now a meager 17 GW. By selling power direct to the public at P 6 kWh, we create a significant economic stimulus (with a 1.6 fiscal multiplier) without Government debt, grants investment, scams or subsidies.

          Alternatively, the same 220 Ha and same system components can be reformatted produce 90,000 Liters Day of Zero Sulphur Diesel, Jet Fuel or Gasoline

          Theoretically, power now becomes an Agricultural By-Product, and Agriculture Share of GDP grows from 11 % to whatever . . . . .

        8. GoRICO: it might work in an advanced country, but not in the Philippines. That sort of technology simply doesn’t exist for commercial deployment, and even if it did, how would anybody afford it?

          The bottom line is that it’s an awful lot of hard work and capital for very little payback. It’s also not sustainable. What are you going to do, ten years down the line, when the soil is cropped-out?

          PV is more efficient, cheaper, and scalable. No biofuel project even gets close to PV for pure return-on-investment.

          I get your point about creating income for farmers, but if the market is operating correctly, farmers should be able to create their own income. Land should not be given to people who don’t know how to use it effectively.

          Here’s a real-world example: say you offered to distribute land to anyone prepared to:

          (a) put down a 30K/ha deposit
          (b) produce a business plan and
          (c) install at least 100m2 of PV solar capacity over the next 10 years.

          If a (potential) farmer can’t or won’t do this, he is:

          (a) probably incapable of handling money and should not be entrusted with something as valuable as land.

          (b) unlikely to know much about farming, since he clearly believes 30K represents a higher risk than the potential profit.

          The government would top-up the farmer’s 30K with another 30K, to be invested in some sensible scheme (NOT rice-growing). For example, 30K would buy roughly 20m2 of photovoltaic panels producing 3500kWh per year, with a retail value of PHP20,000. Maintenance is trivial, and if he can reach the 100m2 target he’ll be bringing in PHP8000 a month, which is more than most farmers earn. Meanwhile, he’s still got 99% of his hectare available for farming.

          Incidentally, I’m assuming retail prices (PHP6/kWh) because he’ll be selling direct to nearby consumers. That’s the nature of distributed solar. Not only does he have an income, he’s creating independence. Of course, the current power-that-be would hate that.

        9. You’re right again, marius, assuming we put the ROI burden on farmers and relied on any money or support from the Government.

          Like IIda illustrates out in this article, “3 Things Holding Philippines Back”, we began talking to Philippines 2 years ago, offering to totally finance and operate our facilities as a Non Stock Non Profit, opening facilities for collaborative study and research with all Universities in Philippines.

          We were told from highest levels that we needed to 1) Work only with Plantations and 2) Power Monopolies, and 3) CHED said we could only work with SUCs if all cash flow came through CHED. (WTF?)

          We chose Philippines to solve asymmetrical social, environmental and equality issues, NOT TO MAKE RICH OLIGARCH EVEN RICHER.

          We decided to bring our (Existing University of Houston/NASA) Technologies to the Philippines through a Non Profit Research Institute and introduce it slowly and work around Gov Obstacles.

          In the meantime, our little Philippines NGO has signed agreements with Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Kenya and Guinea in a single year.

          I agree, Solar is GREAT!! We support any and all clean energy and have actually done some Solar Panel Spin Offs in the US, but we chose to move into macro scale, carbon negative power because of accelerating Climate Change.

          As an exit strategy, our systems are amortized over 6 years, so power and fuel can be virtually free after that, PLUS the systems can be redeployed to the coastline, where we can capture CO2 from the seawater, convert it to Methane and turn it into Diesel, Jet Fuel or Power.

          Considering Philippines has 7,000 islands, that’s a big advantage. Every Island can produce it’s own fuel and/or power on site. Pretty cool.

        10. Incidentally, I do like that coy reference to “Local Municipal Solid Waste”, AKA shit 🙂 This should be a front-and-centre aspect of any agricultural policy, and I wish you luck with that.

      2. GoRICO: do you mean you actually presented this plan as a business proposition to the (current) adminstration? I’m intrigued. The reaction does not surprise me though: I’ve heard many stories of foreigners coming here offering to subsidize appropriate-technology projects. The meetings usually involved a lot of nodding and smiling, and then the inevitable: “what’s in it for me?”.

        The authorities – if they even deserve that word – can’t see further than their next SUV or 50″ plasma TV. The people advancing the proposals, mostly, find bribery morally repugnant, and they walk away disillusioned. And the Philippines continues to wallow in misery, by their own volition – or at least by collusion with their elected ‘leaders’.

        There are many ways to do “carbon negative”. I’m working on a project like that myself. However, after some thoroughly distasteful experiences with mayors and the like, I’m doing it beneath the radar.

        1. Yes, marius, it’s disappointing but not surprising, I actually chose Philippines because of the corruption. If I can learn how to circumvent the obstacles here, that becomes my navigation model for all developing Nations.

          To be fair, mid level agency management here is very different, and we work quietly together to build a strategy.

          Meeting with farmers is the most fun. When they realize the income potential, they really get animated, so we have to settle them down and ask them to be patient.

          With the Research Institute as entry point, we’ll extend to manufacturing the major components for Indonesia, Malaysia and Africa Projects here.

          We’ll let the Press ask the Gov why Filipinos are engineering and manufacturing hi tech systems for the benefit of ASEAN, but the PH Government won’t permit use in Philippines.

          That will be fun to watch!!!

          Re: the Municipal Solid Waste, I REALLY mean garbage. In rural areas with small populations there’s not much garbage, but it’s still and environmental issue. The volume is small and we can take care of LGU input at no charge, NO MORE LANDFILLS!!

          In Manila, several thousand tons of MSW per day just “Disappears” and “Reappear” as Clean Diesel or Power. But I refuse to go to Manila. We’ll do the Provinces first and steal all the population from Manila.

          The big deal for Technology/Manila, however, is the Pasig River. All the trash we take out needs to go somewhere, so turning into fuel or power is pretty cool.

          Now, regarding real shit, ABSOLUTELY a great option. In fact, my model for South Sudan is based almost entirely on animal shit (11.7 million cattle, 12.4 million goats and 12.1 million sheep) in a country of less than 13 million people.

          You also noted that corruption usually discourages foreign investors and they give up and leave. I cannot run away. If I can play some small role in defeating Corrupt Dynasties and Monopolies and help Filipinos reclaim what’s been stolen, my life will be complete.

        2. Interesting!

          Your attitude is exactly the same as mine – if I can make it work here, I can make it work anywhere 🙂

          I doubt the press will get involved. There was an article a while back about a group of people with vested interests “warning” people about the “dangers” of installing solar power. Some of their remarks were valid (eg., most panels are low-quality … because the good ones are taxed out of reach of the ordinary person). Some of them were just made-up rubbish (eg., “if you have an inverter in your home, it will feed back into the grid when there’s a brownout, which could be dangerous for people working on the lines”). Reporters have no scientific background, generally, so they just quoted everything wholesale, without question or remark.

          The Philippines is awash with misinformation, and most of it is spread with the help of the press. In fairness, they’d probably be quietly shot if they didn’t report what they’re told to report.

          As for your other points: I’ll take my response to the Agriculture article (“The Need To Shift Towards A Better Agriculture Sector In The Philippines: There Is No Time Like The Present”, Aug 15th) since it seems more appropriate there.

        3. Actually, marius, I was thinking of Al Jazeera, BBC et al.

          They like to do docudrama on irony, “Phil Co that saves Africa is illegal in Phil” that lead back to systemic Political Fraud.

          Closer to home, Indonesia is signing PPAs and will sell power at 1/2 kWh, and Mindanao gets to pay Meralco Rates, which explains why Filipinos need to fund BBL with P 75 Bn per year; so Mindanao can pay Manila Monopolies for their new power.

          If AJ carries the story into “Manila Cheats Mindanao” with a Religious Bias, Bye Bye BBL.

        4. Marius, just curious where’s find this: “There was an article a while back about a group of people with vested interests “warning” people about the “dangers” of installing solar power”

          May I ask for the link? I also want to understand why it seems solar power was made unreachable.

        5. Vincent: article is here:


          I’m hoping these crab-mentality idiots are not representative of the general attitude among engineers. However, they seem to have the ear of the authorities.

          GoRICO: yup, the international agencies might well find a story there. However, I’m sure you can anticipate the reaction from the Pinoy Pride brigade:

          – Those horrible foreigners insulting the Philippines again!

          – We don’t need help from foreigners!

          – Lies! All lies! The Philippines is progressive and welcomes new technology [theoretically, of course, this is true – but as you’ve discovered, subtle administrative hurdles are put in place to make sure that, in reality, it isn’t].

        6. I agree 100%, marius. We need to focus on the objective of “Evolution, not Revolution”.

          If we control the chaos of transition and the political narrative, we can avoid the same fate as the “Arab Spring”.

          If we offer the 1% an opportunity to save face but link it to a definitive exit strategy, things should go smoothly. CHEERS!!

        7. ABSOLUTELY, I’M INTERESTED!!! I wanted to reply and comment, but as I am an ALIEN, I was waiting for a segue, and YOU’RE IT, Thanks!!!

          Again, Philippines is our Global Model.

          Of 7.2 Billion population, 40% are in Agriculture and of that 2.8 Bn, 90% live in poverty.

          Moving USD 9 Trillion Year from a Monopolistic Energy Sector to the Global Agriculture Sector is a paradigm shift, and just in time!!!

          Of course, Philippines will get the credit and the Nobel Prize for Audacity, hahahaha.

          This initiative will soothe some of the Manila Butt-Hurt, but we can be “Magnanimous in Victory”(or not). CHEERS!!

  43. I like your post. Personally, I agree on all 3 things you emphasized what makes Philippines holding back its growth to be like Singapore.
    It seems the question in my mind been partially answered with item 3. – “Anti-intellectual attitudes discourage critical debate.” My question is – “Where have all the good men in the Philippines had gone?”
    Patronage Politics coupled with vote buying make our electoral system worst. I agree/support Madame Senator Santiago when she said that people who don’t pay taxes should not be allowed to vote. Because they are the ones that succumb to this rotten practice.

  44. The 3 points raised were never entirely true. We have millions of people who are disciplined, never gave in to patronage politics and never anti-intellectual. And why should we become like Singapore? We have our own culture and nation. We are now developing as a nation but I never wish we become like Singapore or any other nation for that matter. We will become Philippines on our own terms.

    1. I agree, Lino. Singapore is not meant to be a model, only a comparison.

      The quality infrastructure and business environment is we want to emulate, not the stressful pace of life.

      If we clean our beaches and can provide adequate power, Philippines is a much better site for environmental tourism the Singapore.

    2. Mr. Desembrana:

      “The 3 points raised were never entirely true.”

      – Talaga? (Really?) How about these lines from each points raised?

      1. Weak law enforcement leads to lack of discipline.

      – Everyday there is chaos on major roads in the Philippines due to lack of discipline.
      – Every day there is someone throwing garbage in the river and someone building a new shack illegally on private and public lands.

      2. Patronage politics has perverted democracy.

      – It’s also called padrino system.
      – The buses that block the road on EDSA and cause major traffic jams are operated by the elites and, unfortunately, these bus operators are not doing anything to discipline their drivers and neither are the traffic enforcers doing anything drastic since they more than likely get a cut from the bus operators.

      3. Anti-intellectual attitudes discourage critical debate.

      – Instead of voting for experts and professionals or at least someone with more experience and vision, Filipinos love putting a lot of celebrities and popular personalities and their relatives in powerful positions in government.

      – It seems as though Filipinos are allergic to people who have knowledge and expertise in solving the country’s problems so they would rather go for someone who they can relate with even when nothing is being done to solve the country’s woes.

      – It’s only in the Philippines where intellectuals are ostracised. When you explain something that is deemed too complicated for the average person, they will simply dismiss you with “eh di wow!” or similar exasperated expressions in a condescending manner. It is the reason why some intellectuals would rather go with the flow than risk being shamed for using their heads.

      Now explain what is it exactly that is not true among the bits that I extracted from the three reasons above?

      “And why should we become like Singapore?” – I hope you’re not really taking this literally. Singapore is just a symbol of what the Philippines should be and more. Of course, I too once said that Singapore is not a paradise. But it is closer to being one compared to the Philippines.

      I understand that identity is important to being a nation and culture is certainly one that can give that definition. However, the current culture that some foreigners knows us for is the type that no country will ever be proud of (does the words pabebe, e di wow, padrino system, jejemon ring any bell?). And the this article was written to help identify the problems so that we can know how to solve it.

      I agree with you when you said, “We have millions of people who are disciplined, never gave in to patronage politics and never anti-intellectual.” In the millions of Filipinos, it is highly probable that a good portion of that are the ideal citizens. An example is the college student I happen to cross the Kalentong intersection with two weeks ago. We both stood at the sidewalk until the green light for pedestrian is on. Some of his friends crossed it while the light is still red because there are no more vehicles passing by. But he waited for the green light with me exercising a simple discipline that I can say is very rare among Filipinos now. But seeing at least one Filipino doing that until now is enough for me to conclude that there are still a lot of disciplined Filipinos.

      The problem? Disciplined Filipinos is not the mainstream right now.

      “We are now developing as a nation…” and still learning the ropes of our “independence and freedom” (am I right with what I have added to an excerpt of your statement?) – Perhaps. We are still a young nation. But the problem is we are lost but seemed complacent. We are lost but content with the crumbs that we find and pick up along the way hence, we seemed not bothered to find our way back.

      “We will become Philippines on our own terms.” – I just hope not with the current culture as pointed out in the 3 reasons above.

    3. So what’s your point? You want us to remain downsized and poor huh Lino? Millions who are disciplined? Don’t make me laugh! Also, there only a few Filipinos who are intelelctual sad to say.

      What it means to become like Singapore is to be PROGRESSIVE.

      Unless you are just one of those people who think that we are just okay, then I hope you know economic and cultural reforms are needed.

  45. I would totally agree with the author. The lack of discipline and weak enforcement of the laws are at the root of most of this country’s woes.
    There are very few politicians who are not corrupt, the political system has been set up, either accidentally or deliberately, to encourage corruption and patronage.
    My Filipino friends complain bitterly (amongst themselves) about things, but never openly, because they don’t believe that anything will happen. The same applies when complaining about poor service or defective goods from a company, nothing ever happens.
    The petty restrictions on foreign ownership of property and companies doesn’t encourage good service from the foreign companies based here. There are many people who are living here permanently, but are barred from working in govt. Departments because of where they were born. These people could bring a lot of experience to help improve things. Instead we see Govt. Depts, (MMDA, DOTC, LTO, LTFRB etc. etc. etc.) all run inefficiently and with rampant corruption.
    We need to change the mindset of people. people should expect good service from their elected representatives and Govt. Bodies.Those representative and Bodies should “fear”the people, not treat them with contempt and ridicule. However, given the large numbers of poorly educated voters, and people who have no expectations in life, people who will sell their votes and their souls for PHP300 or a free coffee and Jollibee meal from politicians, I really can’t see it happening anytime soon; which is a shame because I, like many others who have moved here, love the country.

    1. I think we need to go back to basics. 3 EEEs. Engineering, Education and Enforcement in this order.

      But first we need to elect a President who have the brains, guts and good/honest reputation. A combination of Marcos,Ninoy, Lacson,Duterte of their good traits. Once elected, announce to all armed groups (NPA-CPP, Abu Sayaf,etc.) who violated the law to surrender with benefit package. Exclude BBL. If not, arrest and jail all of them. Can you name a country that is progressive with many rebel factions? Only in the Philippines. Peace and order is a very important component. This is one of the conditions of Duterte to Sison. If i will run for president all of you have to surrender. Another thing i like is Lacson’s discipline style like in PNP.

      Engineering – Build better primary infrastructure, Roads, Airports and maintain it! I stand corrected but I was informed part of Changi airport was made by a Filipino the baggage conveyor. Go for manufacturing than only trading. I worked for Motolite batteries before. Do you know that this local battery manufacturer is purely Filipino owned? This battery has a higher market share of more than 80% in Philippines outperforming imported and other local batteries. We need to support this.

      Education – Hire foreign experts if we don’t have the local talent. Look at America, they got Einstein from Germany. Singapore as well. Review/amend constitution, develop rules, procedures and train all People of the Philippines!!

      Enforcement – AFter all have been said and done. Implement the law with fairness/justice to all!

      Thank you for this nice article.

    2. Hi! As foreigner living in your country for 15 years and married to a Filipino . It seems to me you don’t as yet seem to relies that the Philippines is not in isolation from the rest of the world , that millions of Filipinos work and prosper all round the world and most do not want to come back here. In my country England. Filipinos can but property in their name, can get a free education and free health, a pension, and a race relation act which protects them. Yet we in your country have no rights what so ever . cannot own land and can be deported at any time for any small mister meaner, we have no protection or rights . We can live here for 39 years and still have no rights. There are many foreigners who like to become a Filipino citizen and take an interest in helping this country to become so much better, but you deny us. Every country to day has it mixture of nationalities in each country each adding to it’s thinking, culture and well being . Until you can think not just as a Filipino with only Filipino eyes and views, but with a more open mind that others can bring to you will remain a country with blinkers on.

  46. Great article, now if only the right people would read it, and run for office.

    Reading some of the comments though sure explains why its near impossible for the Philippines to move forward, or upwards, the negativity towards dealing with the problem is astounding.

  47. i think it not just right to include Cory Aquino in the cause of mediocrity in our society; she had been the rallying point of the people in ending the martial law and reign of Marcos; else, another marcos would still be sitting in the still very oppressive government; and surely, you had not lived through that era to easily say that.
    indeed, there is that mediocrity and the anti intellectual attitude of the society which simply translates to talangka or crab attitude. i am not an analyst, but for me, this could be attributed and had developed during the long reign of the Marcos regime (22 yrs) where everything was stifled.

    1. Thanks for the link, mrericx, great graphic.

      The “Back Story” on early Singapore; A Tiny Country with lots of different Religious and Racial Factions was a Political Pressure Cooker. LKY made the decision to run Singapore like a Company instead of a Country, everyone:
      1)Plays their part and contribute to progress 2) Don’t be late 3) Don’t fight

        1. Hahahaha, THANKS, mrericx!!! My not so private dream for Philippines is to see Filipinos enjoy the quality of life they deserve, and love Philippines for making it possible. CHEERS!!

      1. I wish our country was managed like a company, then possibly all our leaders are degree holders and most probably majority have masters degrees or phd’s; appoint leaders that are competent and can manage. just like the leaders in Singapore.

        If that becomes a reality then we wont have an OJT in the Senate.

        1. sounds familiar just like Nancy and probably it’ll be done to Pambansang Kamao as well. Haay!!! Only in the Philippines. :*(

  48. I wonder how other countries would fair if they had super typhoons, earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, communist insurgency, muslim secession, high population increase rate mainly due to misguided religious teachings, etc. Can you name me a country in the world that has all these problems? Singapore is a bad choice to compare the Philippines with–it is even smaller than Manila and it does not suffer from the problems I mentioned. Given these facts, and despite of the three things mentioned in this article, we are actually doing better than most countries. But of course if we can lick these three things, we will be far much better than even Singapore. Let’s not lose hope, our time will come.

    1. The United States of America suffered through a bloody revolution, a war against the British Empire, market depression/crashes,
      a civil war, two world wars, wild weather phenomena(hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, heat wave, snowstorms, floods),forest fires, volcanic explosions, landslides, earthquakes, internal and external threats, immigration problems. Yet America retains a superpower status.

      Singapore also had it’s share of troubles from communists riots to race riots. It endured the troubled times and learned from it until it finally became the great nation it is today.

      It seems pinoys will still say anything just to rationalize mediocrity.

  49. I see your point of getting leaders who are intellectuals. I’m not sure if “intellectuals” is the right word for a good string leader. Sad to say, some intellectuals either grow up privileged and might not truly understand how to alleviate poverty, and also some intellectuals don’t have the “make things happen” personality but are more writers, etc. And some intellectuals unfortunately seek opportunity elsewhere causing our “brain drain.” Some intellectuals are not business minded and political, with personalities that can help relationships with communities and countries thrive, because they keep to themselves, or a just not seasoned leaders. I think we need strong leaders who posses more than just intellect althought intellect is very important, but empathy and drive to change the environment for the better, the experience aside from knowledge to improve things, the passion to empower people and influence them in a way to discipline themselves, and if more knowledge is needed, he has to have the good judgment to know how to get that intelligence, whether it’s through other experts. He also has to be sort of a successful business man to know how to fix the economy and be decisive on things that matter, and someone personable to maintain good relationships and honest deals with fellow local and world leaders. He has to be overall good person together woth intellect to gain the people’s respect. And he has to be a visionary as well who has the ability to convert his visions into reality.

    1. I just re-read you article and you did mention getting experienced professionals and experts aside from intellectuals. Sorry, was the first thing I read as soon as I woke up. Thanks for the article, very well thought-out.

  50. The Philippine’s answer to Singapore is finally here: the Zaxxun Zones of Luzon

    Full pdf presentation in

    • Goal: to carve out a Singapore-like state in the
    • Composed of contiguous Zaxxun C.O.D. (clean, orderly, disciplined) zones in Luzon
    • Interconnected by modern world-class expressways/highways
    • Clean and green urban development: city/urban area in a forest/garden
    • Eyesore-free, tourist- & pedestrian-friendly


  51. The Philippines may someday develop, but it will never become another Singapore, and shouldn’t try. Different circumstances require different systems, processes, and goals.

    The claim that “it’s become even more difficult after the country fell in the hands of the oligarchs who replaced former President Ferdinand Marcos” is a bit peculiar, since the issues discussed are largely attributable to the disastrous reign of Marcos.

    Other than that the observations are reasonable enough, if superficial, though repeating what everyone already knows doesn’t get us any closer to solving the problems.

  52. the reason that we fall from economic might is because marcos declare martial law and reap the country a part is that suppose to be difficult to understand?

  53. the reason why our economy collapse is because marcos reap the country apart by declaring martial law and rubbed the country is that suppose to be difficult to understand?

  54. I was unable to reply to this message via the reply button, as no button existed, so here is my reply to, “Not a Typical Filipino” below his message

    Not a Typical Filipino says:
    August 23, 2015 at 6:59 pm
    The Marcos Administration gave us a reason to call our fathers and grandfathers Filipinos and be proud about it in the process. They made roads and bridges, which are more important than anything else in the rural provinces to improve internal trade and transportation. They made tons of infrastructure, which dramatically improved our health, culture, utility and life. We were an Asian nation that everyone looked up on and hoped to become just as rich as we are.

    All of it came crashing down when the Church, the Communists, the Oligarchs and the Corrupt Elements of the Government used the death of a good man to their own diabolical devices and destroyed a visionary who only wanted to bring our country to a better place in this world. After that, our next generation’s minds are slowly poisoned by the corrosive elements of Yellow Propaganda sponsored mass media and education, our country is run roughshod by the incompetent, the incumbent, the corrupt and the undeserving, turned our proud culture into a caricature and a parody of what it truly was back then and the prosperity that we Filipinos wanted is taken away and replaced with something worse.

    Are we supposed to be proud about this? Are we supposed to be go around, thumping our chests and proclaim that the EDSA revolution made our country prosperous and gave our people more dignity and pride? Do we even have the right to be proud at all after three decades worth of abuse, poverty and self-destruction?

    I love my country too and I’m not a Marcos loyalist but I just cannot turn a blind eye to what he did for the Philippines and how much we’ve lost after destroying everything that he had built.

    Thank you for the detailed and informative message. This is what happened in the 50’s and 60’s in a lot of countries Asian and European The building of Infrastructure to facilitate the movement of goods and services throughout the country(ies) Lets call it expansive economies making things grow in a pluralistic way involving people in the growth of their economy building hope for a better future.giving them hope for better future for them and their families. Today after years of Oligarchial greed Neocon policies of Austerity where wealth goes up to the few, who are never satisfied with the more they get, they still want more, think Midas on steroids. The Philippino society shows how all societies will end up if these people are allowed to continue thier theft of what belongs to everybody, not just the material items, most importantly the hope and dreams they have for a better future.

  55. My wife is from Philippines, and we have on and off spend about 9 months together in Philippines. I have seen a lot of hardworking and dedicated people, in particular considering how little they are paid. I have also seen how the growth finally has started to pick up.

    As regards the intellectual climate, I do not think it is any worse than in many developed countries. However, that may not be good enough.

    I will put one item as top priority – fix the tax system. You have a police force without any means of communication, a health system with skilled people but no medication, need of larger roads and better transport, and an educational system that excludes many clever and motivated students.

    1. G Strom: I agree. The tax system is probably one of the top three reasons why the country cannot progress.

      – Tax laws are onerous, byzantine, and utterly pointless.
      – Levies on business activities are high, and there are draconian punishments for not complying with the laws, which might change from month to month.
      – Imports are taxed heavily and arbitrarily (well, let’s be honest here: subject to bribes), which means businesses can’t get the materials or tools that they need, and exporters can’t export (balance of trade issue).
      – Whatever tax money is being raised – and it’s probably a lot – is mostly wasted on stupid schemes, or disappears into private bank accounts.

      Developed countries can sustain a high tax rate because they already have a powerful economic engine. Trying to do the same thing in a country with no functioning economy is like trying to drive a 50cc scooter with a 10-tonne weight chained to the back.

  56. I agree with most of your points but these are just 3 among the many reasons why we can’t level with SG.

    Inefficient urban planning

    – seems like officials in charge of urban planning lack strategic planning skills and are not knowledgeable on sustainable urban development. Business permits are bullshit. You can put up anything u like anywhere just as long as u process the papers.. even if u are putting up a hardware store next to 4 other hardware stores offering the same comodities. You can’t find anything like that in SG. There’s also too much stress on pedestrians and commuters since walkways are too narrow and unsafe.

    > Useless “barkers” are being tolerated

    -Cmon, we can live without them! they just cause traffic and decreases drivers’ income!

    > Spoiled illegal settlers

    – I find it very unfair that the hardworking middle class has to carry the burden of paying taxes for these very people who pollute rivers, overpopulate, and produce drug pushers and snatchers.. i dont mean to sound judgmental but cmon!!! They are not even sorry for dragging the country down, they blame it all on the government! My family is poor yet we work hard on how we can get by.
    Human right activists just spoil them more so they became more demanding and proud.

    > Over disrespect on leaders

    – Filipinos always find something to hate about their leaders. In my lifetime, there has never been a president that was never been bashed. There can never be a perfect President, we should accept that. Bashing, or putting down the current administration wont help our country to develop. It’s not just on one man’s hands.. it depends on all of us. Singaporeans have respect for their leaders.. that’s why they follow the rules and policies. I wonder if we will ever come to that point.

    > Catholic church doesnt support population control

    – We barely have enough oxygen supply for all of us living now! It’s time to promote condoms and pills!

    1. Oh one more thing! Inefficient, slow, stupid people working in government municipalities/instititions! Will leave u waiting even if they can see that the queue is already long. Government protocols are full of fuss but senseless! Have to walk back and forth to get barangay clearance, cedula, and a lot of other shit just to request for a solo parent id! and they dont even use computer databasing at this point in time!

  57. One thing you have all forgotten…is the Rotten Catholic Church. Separation of church and state is a must. overpopulation is killing PI.

  58. The results of this subversion are still evident today in the decay of the economic and social fabric of the Philippines. Corazon Aquino fulfilled every IMF request, from the closure of the completed nuclear power facility to the deregulation and privatization of much of the economy. It was a surprise to some of Aquino’s supporters, but not to LaRouche, when the pro-IMF members of the Marcos Cabinet were retained in the new government. General Ramos took over directly in the next Presidential election in 1992, selling the nation to the Enrons of the West through corrupt, unequal contract agreements, especially in the energy sector, which left the country in absolute bankruptcy after the speculative assault on the Asian economies in 1997-98. Joseph Estrada, another “commoner,” was elected President in 1998, but was allowed only two years in office before another “economic hit man”-orchestrated-coup (again with General Ramos doing the bidding for his foreign controllers) brought him down in January 2001.
    The current President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, has generally done what was demanded of her by the neo-conservatives in power in Washington. However, when she pulled the token Philippine military force out of Iraq, and then upgraded the country’s relations with China, she won the ire of her patrons, and is now facing the threat of yet another coup—with General Ramos again the neo-cons’ man on the scene.
    LaRouche, together with his collaborators in the Philippines, intends to use this history of the economic hit men, in the Philippines and elsewhere, as a necessary part of the fight to end such criminality forever. As LaRouche concluded in his address to the Nov. 16 radio show quoted above: “I have had a long-standing special attachment to the Philippines, and I am very much concerned for its integrity and sovereignty and well-being today. I would be very happy, and the Philippines would make me very happy, by being truly sovereign, successful, growing, and peaceful again today. And you may expect that wherever I am and whatever I am doing, that commitment is very active within me, for very special reasons that I won’t bother going into, on this question of the Philippines. I am concerned. The sovereignty of the Philippines and the success of the Philippines as a sovereign Presidential republic is, to me, one of the necessary ingredients of a future for the whole Pacific area of the world.”
    Ramtanu Maitra and Gail Billington contributed to the research for this report. The author can be reached at mobeir@aol.com.

  59. The reasons the Filipinos will always be regarded as third class people are as follows .
    They have no pride in their country.
    They have no discipline .
    They are mostly kept ”stupid as it suits their Government,
    They have no conception of working for a living One member of the family secures a well paid job abroad all the others in the family quit work.
    They will spend hours each week praying for help from Mama Mary rather than work.
    Most Filipinos are too be honest as thick as a tree stump Your education standards are not held as highly abroad as you think.
    Filipinos have no idea of quality, class, art. culture Drink, dance, sing make even more children.
    You are happy to live in filth and poverty as it’s easier than clearing up

  60. 4. Colonial mentality

    Perhaps the emperor of the Philippine cultural malaise, and every other country, or people, so fortunate enough to be guided by the Spaniard’s auspicious guiding hands in its incipiency, as in virtually every country in South America.

    discipline, law, intellectual aspirations…that’s all fine and dandy and all, but those are elements that stem from something much deeper — pride, nationalism, and unconditional love for oneself. Filipino will never crawl out of the abyss of the third world until they a stop glorifying everything foreign to them. I swear every time I turn the tv on to tfc and see these half breeds and American names in Filipino movies I cringe. This is not just entertainment, it speaks volume to the psyche of the Filipino mentality and character.

  61. Spot On! Only I can’t find the part that has some potential solutions.

    “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela

    Its quite powerful, properly done. Current education system is geared toward how to do, sort of like programming. Education should be learning how to think and moral formation. Ever experianced a professor not accepting your correct answer because its not how he taught it?

  62. Get real, Philippines will never become a nation like Singapore in our lifetimes. There is only one problems holding the country from moving forward and that is THE FILIPINOS themselves. Unless you do a wipe of memory or disappear the last two generations (each generation is 20 years) you will not see a change in the harts and minds happening. Duterte is not a magician, people are placing their hope on Duterte and in just 6 years, Durerte can not fix it. In a society were locals go toe to toe with traffic enforces and or actual police officers, bus drivers, taxi drivers kill innocent people daily, motorcycle destroy property and run away. you would need to apply military curfew or martial law and to apply the law you need a capable disciplined police force that do not use their own jails to kidnap innocent civilians asking for ransom. People do whatever they want (Specially in Luzon and ares populated by Rebels) and see the law, order and justice as something optional. The minute the curfew starts you will hear the shouts for human rights and claiming that they live in a dictatorship. Filipinas will never be like Singapore in our lifetime. Philippines more dicipline not more democracy. You have professionals with a degree that do not even know they have Spanish Last Names and or Spanish blood running in their veins…,education is pathetic how can you start to change a a nation or generation without education???

    1. A dictatorhip under that doddering fool Lee Kwan Yew? No thanks.

      That doddering fool, as you mistakenly describe him, took Singapore from one of the poorest third world countries to a prosperous first world country. Compare and contrast that to what has happened here. You call him a fool, the rest of world acknowledges his leadership, drive, commitment and honesty. The leaders we have had, have stolen, killed the population, failed to enforce laws and permitted corruption to flourish. Who is the real fool?

  63. I recently visited Singapore. It’s a lovely country. Literally, everything’s great there if you disregard the not-so-warm, effervescent attitudes that most citizens possess.
    I keep shaking my head, wondering how a country with no natural resources managed to build a sturdy empire of its own in the span of 5 decades. Amazing.
    Perhaps the reason is that fact that the Philippines cannot seem to move on. The world around the Philippines changes, but time seems to be at a standstill in our country. Now, we are still left in the dust. We are still left behind other countries.
    The Philippines has a lot of fixing up to do. If we changed for the better, things would be very different indeed.

  64. @Patriot

    “I keep shaking my head, wondering how a country with no natural resources managed to build a sturdy empire of its own in the span of 5 decades.”

    Don’t give the credit entirely to Mr. Lee Kuan Yew! Mr. LKY took off and continued from the efforts of those who came before him!

    Singapore have been a flourishing free port, as early as mid-18th century courtesy of their Brit Masters! They even have a monument in honor of Sir Stamford Raffles, recognized as Singapore’s Architect!

    Singapore is the Asian Hub of commerce (like Hongkong…and another small country like The Netherlands in Europe), all transhipment points passes thru them… Try to understand shipping and trading, British imperialist rule, then you would know how these countries makes money even without natural resources. That somehow explains their financial success.

    And this also suggest why China now is encroaching the whole of West Philippine Sea!

    More on this site:

  65. Well, our country was really left behind as compared to its neighbors; Singapore, Thailand, and many others. Because most of ‘pinoys’ are undisciplined! We need to have a leader who would execute a strong system in order to have a an orderly and peaceful country, reform the turtle judicial system too and a GOOD governance as a whole. Eliminate the TRAPO(only in the phils an ex’onvict, uneducateds, even famous personalities can be elected to ofc) in our society.

  66. The average IQ in Singapore is 108. The average in Philippines is 86. IQ is approximately 60% genetics. A child with excellent potential going through the Singapore educational system becomes a genius. One going through the Philippine educational system languishes.

    Our motto is Pinoy Humility, not Pinoy Pride. With humility comes self-awareness and the realization that you have to work harder than everyone else to get to the top instead of feeling entitled as a birthright. If you are motivated parents, your children will be reading at age 2 and doing algebra by age 6. Singapore has no monopoly on hard work.

    The very last people on earth to model yourself after is fellow Pinoys puffed up with pride and testing 42nd out of 45 countries on international tests. You can be YEARS ahead of Singapore students before they learn the first letter of the alphabet. All you have to do is put your pride down, substitute hard work in its place, and not expect anyone but yourself to be responsible for your achievements.

    It makes us sick to see the birthday parties, parades, ribbons, and mindless pomp. Cap and gown for learning the alphabet. Graduation ceremony for counting to ten. Worshipping teachers who cannot do math, cannot read a map, and cannot even pronounce vowels or consonants correctly, let alone utter a complete, coherent sentence.

  67. We need to be disciplined like in the early years of the Marcos regime. Everybody follows what the President decree as a law. We are not matured enough to have democracy. We need a drastic change management, i mean real drastic, not through consultation, but an “authoritarian” leader to put things in order. Our democracy is extreme and with this kind of political system and leaders, and population, democracy is not for us at this time. Let put the house in order, only one leader, and lets all obey. Those who do not follow, send them to an island, separate from the majority of Filipinos who are law abiding. Once in that island, let them fight it out among themselves.
    I recall during my highschool days, early years of Marcos government, there a very few crimes, few robbers, holdapers, rape, etc, I use oublic transport to go to work and return home even at midnight, without any fear of being robbed.
    Today, its the worst you can even imagine, and yet, the leadership dont care. When criminals are killed, the Humar Rights come into their rescue, when a decent call center agent got raped, where iate the Human Rights leaders???? Nakakahiya kayo..
    Lets choose a new President who can put our house in order, and then, once everybody knows the meaning and practice discipline, we can enjoy democracy again…you know which candidate I am referring to….

    1. However if Filipinos foresaw discipliine rather than democracy, they must follow the new strict laws in Marcos Legacy. If they don’t they will face disciplinary actions and rigid punishment.

      1. They should just take notes from LKY and take some good notes from Marcos.

        I dunno if this is bait or a troll post. Oh yeah, what do I expect from a Yellow troll like yourself?

  68. Singapore and the Philippines started as equals in the 1960s. But Lee Kuan Yew is the complete opposite of what Ferdinand Marcos Sr was. The former was honest and led his country to progress. Marcos became corrupt and his greed for power, under his dictatorship, led the Philippines to economic & socio-political sinkhole. Unfortunately, the country never had an honest leader after Marcos’ ouster who wanted radical change for the country. Instead, these elected officials continued the legacy of dishonesty and corruption left behind by Marcos. Only if Marcos had the same ideals as Lee Kwan Yew, the Philippines could have been in a much better place. *sigh*

  69. Totally agree with your observations, Ilda. May I also state that culture & history also play big roles in this dilemma. I would also add “colonial mentality” and the “slave mentality related to the Philippines’ history” as major roadblocks to lasting & sustained progress—that doesn’t benefit only the capitalists & upper class of society but progress that trickles down to the working class as well.

  70. Here is another reason why Philippines will never be like Singapore, This coming national election Mayor Duterte and Bongbong Marcos are leading the LATEST national survey. I cannot comprehend beyond any rational reason WHY???? Duterte has been accused of corruption, if he is NOT GUILTY all he has to do is sign a waiver to all of his bank accounts and prove TO THE FILIPINO PEOPLE that he is not corrupt and This will shut Trillanes mouth, but He refused to do so instead he just trash talk Trillanes (what a way to prove your innocence). That action tells me he is LYING!!!!!!! Then on Bongbong Marcos, numerous stolen wealth (jewelry and money) had been recovered by the Philippine government from the Marcos family. Yet people still are not convinced that Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos ROBBED the FILIPINO PEOPLE OF THIER MONEY…. REMEMBER THESE WERE YOUR HARD EARNED TAX MONEY THEY PLUNDERED……..

    1. i can tell you are a fan of the yellow cult who manipulated your mind for years and became a plague infecting the Filipino people like yourself. . .

  71. I agree that there is a great deal of corruption following EDSA. But what I don’t understand is the sudden History rewrite – making Marcos the “Hero” or the Marcos Regime as the “Golden Age” He did a lot to dump our country into the ditch, he started with a top 2 Philippines and left us for dead under huge foreign debt by the time he fled in ’86. Debt we’re still paying up to today. He may have built so many things, but he borrowed big, lived big and left the people to pay. http://factsanddetails.com/southeast-asia/Philippines/sub5_6b/entry-3845.html. Check out the recently discovered Panama Papers and you’ll find Marcos and cojuangco names in them (And please don’t start with this Talleano gold, or Karen Hudes claims – Karen believes conehead aliens are behind world power, and Talleano or Yamashita gold is at its best folklores) If we really want to sort this mess out, reporting should not be biased to one party or another. You talk about biased journalism, well pushing all the blame on EDSA and Aquino is ONE BIG biased journalism. If you want to reveal wrongdoings, don’t hide the Marcos faults by distracting people with this and that person’s sins. Call a spade a spade and lay everything out.

    1. @Ronnie Molina

      Which part of the article do you consider a “history rewrite”? How did I make Marcos the “hero” or his regime the “golden age”? Please be specific.

  72. Somebody please tell me what Marcos did that he didnt personally profit from?All these fabulous intrastructure projects all have one thing in common. he and his lovely wife bilked the shit out of them just like he did the treasury, Any wealthy Family he could get his claws into,and evertything else that he touched to the tune of over 40 Billion dollars. Imelda Sat in the Palace and bilked everyone who came to do business with the country for 10 to 20 percent even before Marcos got his hands into it. The thing that saddens me the most, is he could have been a true son of the land,still walked away with a cool Billion and went down in history as the countries greatest leader.But instead he is remembered as on of the biggest theives on earth with a small group of confused loyalists hanging on to what he could have been instead of what he was….

    1. And yet not a single conviction against the Marcoses despite the 900 cases filed about the supposed “stolen wealth.” Anti-Marcos groups keep relying on myths, conspiracies, speculations and the one-sided biased media narrative as if they were gospel truth.

      Here’s another angle that’s been conveniently overlooked for decades. Pick your poison.






    2. Seriously? That is NOTHING compared to the TRILLIONS that the Yellows and their cronies and allies that have stolen for the last 30 years.

      Apparently, you’re clueless: smuggling alone in the last 5 years is in the trillions. That is totally controlled by one KKK sitting in the Palace. Just a conservative ad valorem of 10%, that is already 100 billion of taxes gone. I am talking very conservatively.

      Actually, there are already estimates that show corruption in the 30 years after 1986 is five times the 20 years prior to 1986. Also estimates that PNoy’s KKK more corrupt than GMA and even worse than Marcos.

      Hope you won’t reply back because Yellowtards like you are much like your idol Noynoy: you have no balls.

      1. I wonder where the billions of money from VAT and Sin taxes have gone. When it was first introduced I said it should be paid to 60 year old plus to give them a decent pension. This would change the whole culture of the People as they would not have so many children as looking after the oldies by the kids would cease

  73. Nakakalimutan mo yata kung bakit tayo naiwan ng singapore? ang umupo sa atin ay si Marcos at Imelda. ang iniisip nila kung paano yumaman sa pwesto. hangang ngayon na kay imelda pa rin ang mga nanakaw nila dahil naging corrupt din yung mga dapat humabol sa kanila. see this:
    https://news.artnet.com/art-world/imelda-marcos-missing-art-philippines-373709. noong mga panahong yon na naupo si marcos ang dollar ay 2pesos to 1 dollar. nung umalis sya 17 to 1 na lang. sa singapore si lee kuan yew hindi nagnakaw hangang ngayon ang tatay niya ay nagtrabaho sa isang shopping mall lamang. si imelda pag pumunta sa new york ang sakop ay buong floor ng waldorf astoria at ang entourage ay isang 737 na eroplano ng PAL. bakit di mo sabihin yan sa article mo? noong panahong yon pag nagsalita ka ng ganyan aarestuhin ka ng napolcom ni Ver. baka di ka na makita.

  74. Well said! It could not have been explained any better! All we (government and people) need to do is apply this. Philippines is still so way behind from the rest of the world. Pretence and corruption is a disease – it needs to be cured by daily dose of true and honest activities.

  75. Hi Ilda, this is such an excellent article. I found it after i Google searched for Philippines society problems. I am in the Philippines right now on holidays, one week, and I am shocked to the point I can not bear it and I want to leave, go away. The pollution, the garbage everywhere, toxic air, the insane poverty. I started thinking about what can cause such a societal disaster. Thats how I found your article. All you describe is really sad. Now I understand.

  76. On your 3rd point about anti-intellectual attitude, I think the problem is not so much a lack of intellect, but a lack of common sense.

    Both yellow and Duterte supporters are guilty of this, which shows you it’s really a cultural problem.

    The yellows’ miserable lack of common sense is pretty well-established, so let’s take some vocal Duterte supporters as an example: Mocha Uson, Thinking Pinoy, and Sass Sasot.

    Before I go further, let me make clear that I have a lot of respect for these three. They succeeded in opening the eyes of ordinary Pinoys to yellow crap where many other bloggers failed before.

    But these three need to be careful not to turn into the same emo, self-righteous, pseudo-intellectual, mutual back-patting brigade as the yellows who like to pontificate about everything like know-it-alls in the media.

    Already there are signs, and Sasot is the most at risk. She’s the most educated of the three, but she’s the weakest when it comes to common sense.

    Among the three, Sasot is the one who fell for Leni Robredo’s fake pro-poor image during the elections. Sasot actually got fooled by the “Leni takes the bus” and “Leni takes the stairs” pictures that Robredo’s camp put out.

    You’d have to be really naive and gullible not to see the motive behind the release of those photos, but Sasot totally fell for them and even wrote an FB post supporting Robredo for VP. (She’s a critic of Robredo now.)

    Sasot is also prone to making impractical suggestions, like beautifying the bridges that children use to go to school in remote areas so they become tourist attractions. Really? Does it make sense for the government to spend money building beautiful bridges in remote barrios with no access to airports, hotels, restaurants, or other tourism infra? The government can barely build enough utilitarian bridges so children in these remote areas don’t drown when they cross rivers to go to school.

    Plus, Sasot keeps citing the freedom of speech NGO Article 19 and its former head Agnes Callamard as justification for bloggers to be allowed access to cover Malacanang. (Callamard is the crazy UN rapporteur who thinks she has more authority than the Philippine president to set the terms of her supposed visit to the Philippines.) Sasot may not be aware of it, but she’s making it sound like it’s the approval of an international NGO and one of its officials that justifies giving access to bloggers. This is classic flawed “appeal to authority” yellow-style reasoning.

    Mocha Uson and Thinking Pinoy argued the case much better using simple common sense: the mainstream media is beholden to the yellows and the oligarchs, and can’t be trusted to report things fairly, therefore giving independent bloggers access is necessary to counter them. Simple as that. No need to name-drop international NGOs.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Sasot is very good. She’s much better than Richie Heydarian or even Secretary Yasay when it comes to analyzing and explaining foreign policy issues. She has a lot of guts and she makes a lot of sense on many other things. She just needs to be careful not to let her education/intellect get in the way of her common sense.

  77. We can spend forever analyzing the state of our education and the multitude of other problems with our society, which are true enough, but we should try and understand how we got into this mess. It’s not being colonized or the ‘yellows’ or the yanks, or any of the other thousand feeble excuses we want to believe ‘did it to us’, where we take no responsibility. Our mindset and mentality is mostly to blame. The way we blame all and sundry & never ourselves, the effort we put into backstabbing and making excuses, our laziness, our jealousy, our desire to take what’s not ours, to positively seek to hurt those who’ve done well in life (if I can’t have it then I want to stop you and anyone else having it), our cowardice at dealing with those in our society who hurt us, the pride we get from deliberately doing the opposite to any positive suggestions, the desire to ‘win’ at dumb things – pass one more car, and on and on…

  78. Corruption. There are about 2000 examiners at the BIR dispersed throughout the country’s BIR offices. The hierarchy include supervisors and other management level position. If each examiner can just pocket 10,000pesos for oneself, and distribute shares to those part of the team, while remitting to the government “share” of the collection, money lost would be 20million. This is on the low end, per month. This is just an illustration. The reality is that there are hundreds of millions drained into BIR pockets where it should have been in government treasury to be used for projects that will benefit the people. xxxxxxxxxxxxx Expand this scenario in the spectrum of government machinery, we will be able to visualize the losses due to corruption. xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Nothing beats corruption in terms of determining the factors that cause the lethargic delay of progress in our country. We can see it in the vastness of the countryside UNDERDEVELOPMENT. No words can sugarcoat the fact that the mass of underdevelopment is out there in the countryside. The superhighways and overpasses of Metro Manila is the higher end of the picture of Philippine economic setting. The downside is that of the countryside. ———–xxxx

  79. Your analysis is spot on. May I also add a sub-culture that explains Filipinos twisted view of democracy. This sub-culture is what I call the culture of convenience. Why is it that Filipinos outside the country are well-disciplined and law-abiding but revert to their old selves when they return in the Philippines? It’s convenience. In first world countries where compliance with the rule of law is a must, Filipinos have no choice but to submit. However, once back in the country, the culture of convenience kicks back in. Here is a common example in the streets. For law enforcement, it’s inconvenient to cite and write tickets. For citizens, it’s inconvenient to go to city hall to pay fines and penalties for breaking the law. For both to avoid the inconvenience, rule breakers bribe their way out of trouble and enforcers let them go away. It’s a win-win for both but deadly consequences to the entire country.

  80. Philippines will never be a progressive country. Filipinos’ Pride are only based on talents and arts which would only lead to popularity but not progress. A few number of Filipinos seem to be educated (well, maybe some are educated but do not apply education in themselves.) But these numbers aren’t enough.

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