Cebu City’s Singapore-like goal is about instilling discipline and respect, city administrator says

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 03,2024 - 12:02 PM

Merlion replica in a restaurant in Carbon Market unveiled on February 13, 2023. | CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines —  Discipline and respect are what will make Cebu City a Singapore-like city.

According to Cebu City Administrator and Lawyer Collin Rosell, speaking on Friday, March 1, during the “League of Lupong Tagapamayapa – Cebu City Chapter General Assembly and Board of Directors Election,” held near a pier in Cebu City, Mayor Michael Rama’s administration aims to create a “Singapore-like Cebu City” to instill discipline among residents.

Rosell also explained the concept of “Singapore-like with Melbourne features” to the members of the Lupon, as he noticed that many people did not fully understand it.

“I, for myself, thought that is an ambitious undertaking. Grabe ra na, mahimo tang Melbourne. But, in reality, ang tanang mga hiyas nga maayo natong sundon nianang mga nasuda mao ray maabot ngari sa atoang pinalanggang siyudad sa Sugbo,” Rosell was quoted as saying by the and reported by the city’s Public Information Office.

Rosell emphasized that achieving a “Singapore-like Cebu City” requires discipline from the people.

“For the longest period of time people wanted to achieve…peace, progress, prosperity but I tell you, even in our respective families we are not respecting each other,” the city administrator added. 

To recall, Rama first introduced his goal of a “Singapore-like Cebu City” when he took his oath of office last June 2022. 

Since then, he has issued several executive orders to work towards this vision. These include reclaiming the three-meter easement of the city’s major waterways, building medium-rise buildings (MRBs) as relocation for affected residents, and allowing optional mask-wearing as he reopened the city’s economy.

READ: Rama’s P51.4B annual budget and his quest for a Singapore-like Cebu City

In his inaugural speech on June 30, 2022, Rama introduced his vision of a Singapore-like city. He aims for the city to mirror Singapore’s qualities of being clean, green, orderly, and disciplined.

Later, after visiting Melbourne, Australia in December 2023, Rama added “Melbourne features” to his vision. In Melbourne, he observed its holistic aspects, including culture, arts, accessibility, and wellness.

Rama envisions his administration to improve upon previous achievements in 2024.

Last February 2023, a restaurant in Carbon Market, Cebu City’s biggest public market, built a replica replica of the Singapore’s official mascot— the Merlion.

Cebuanos’ thoughts

After learning about the Singapore-like vision, Alex Yap, 65, told CDN Digital in 2023 that he supported the idea because Singaporeans are disciplined.

“Mas labing maayo kay ang mga tawo didto [kay] disiplinado. Ang problema, [kon] mabuhat ba nila [sa Cebu City]. Once mabuhat nila ang pagka disiplinado sa tawo, okay kaayo…Mao’y naka nindot didto (Singapore), labing maayo kung masunod na nato,” Yap said.

Meanwhile, college students Joselito Auxtero Jr. and Niña Ann Pugoy expressed their desire for Cebu City to thrive while maintaining its unique identity.

They found the Singapore-like vision motivating for Cebuanos to progress but emphasized the importance of preserving Cebu’s identity.

“…lain man sad kaayo nga moari silag Cebu nya murag Singapore ila pagtan-aw. Mas okay kung unsay wala sa lain nga nasud, maoy naa nato. Para maoy makapalambo sa Cebu,” Auxtero said. /clorenciana


‘Singapore-like’ Cebu City measures among 37 new ordinances passed by 16th City Council

Rama’s 2024 resolution: ‘Continue to be better than before’

What Cebuanos think of the Merlion’s replica as a symbol of Cebu City’s Singapore-like dream


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