Day 3 and 4 – What Makes Singapore Tick

Day 3:

On this day, we had a lot of major events, but the ones that stood out are the following: the summit dialogue with Ms. Tan Ching Yee, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health of Singapore, the GIC visit, and for my group, the Economic Development Board Tour.

Ms.Tan spoke about her role as the Permanent Secretary and the facts and projections regarding health today. She shared her insights about certain health issues, and she also gave constructive advice to the delegates that had queries. Through this dialogue, I learned that health and education come hand and hand, and also, you must keep in mind some certain things when it comes to providing healthcare to your citizens, namely accessibility, affordability, and sustainability. The less you compromise one for another, the better.

The EDB visit interested me more than the GIC visit because I have very little knowledge on investments and all that jazz, so I could not really understand much of what the speaker was saying (haha). In the EDB, I learned the strategies (of the Singaporean government) to entice large companies in various industries to have a base in the country. It allowed me to realize that many factors play an important role in doing this task – you need this much land, you need this many public works, etc, etc.I was also interested with the fact that Singapore actually launches satellites (cause I never knew that any SEA country did that).

Day 4:

Today, we went to the Land Transport Authority and the Public Utilities Board. At first, I thought the day would drag on, as we are all anticipating our trip to the Night Safari, but oh boy, was I wrong. I guess that mindset also comes from the fact that those equivalents in the Philippines aren’t exactly places locals would bother going to (what more tourists lol), so I thought I was in for a boring day.

Both the talk and the museum in the LTA made me realize that it is indeed possible to have an efficient and effective public transportation system. This is something I am incredibly unfamiliar to, because in the Philippines, our system is kind of messed up (e.g: you can actually flag down buses in the middle of the road, there are no Metro Cards/EZ Link stuff, and you have to go to a specific bus station to get this certain bus). It encouraged me to believe that if a country as young as Singapore can develop a system that is mutually beneficial, then so can my 100+ year old homeland. I also thought that maybe my country should also adapt the habit of using bicycles. This could possibly reduce congestion, save the environment, and let the people burn some calories! Three birds with one stone! Hahaha

The PUB was an interesting, interactive museum. I drank the NeWater product the day prior in the EDB, but I had no idea what it actually was.. (it’s recycled sewer water ahahahhaha). Thanks to the PUB, I learned that it is possible to save this diminishing resource through rigorous filtration and purification. The PUB also taught me simple yet effective ways to save water. The things I learned today in the PUB can definitely be applied to my country because having an agriculture-centered economy is a strong indicator that we are in need of this scarce resource. Once it runs out, it would be difficult to sustain the foundation of our economy. But with this knowledge of recycled water, it showed me that it is possible to keep things going for the future generations.

Okay enough serious talk, it’s time to go to the Night Safari woohoooo!!! 😀

Crissy Buensuceso Philippine Science High School, Philippines

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