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Here is exactly why our roads aren’t as clean as Singapore’s

Let us show you with these comparative photos we took

This is in Singapore. See if you can spot a piece of trash on the ground. Zoom in if you want. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

Anyone who has been to Singapore should already be familiar with the city-state’s clean surroundings. Check out any street and you’re sure to see asphalt (or cement) so spotless you can probably walk barefoot without blackening the soles of your feet. A huge reason for this is the fact that the Lion City has serious penalties in place for littering. If you get caught throwing a candy wrapper on the sidewalk, you’ll get slapped with a S$300 (P11,300) fine if you’re a first-time offender. In fact, someone was recently made to pay this amount supposedly for shooting rubber bands out in the open. Do it again and the fine could reportedly go as high as S$5,000 (P188,400).

During a visit to Singapore this year, we saw how neatly smokers discarded their cigarette butts onto designated ashtrays. We were very impressed at the sight, to be honest.

Okay, there was one individual who was feeling a little rebellious that day. Tough guy. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

By contrast, see how Filipinos put away their cigarette butts:

Seriously, how difficult could putting a cigarette butt into that grilled square be? PHOTOS BY VERNON B. SARNE

And these photos were taken in Bonifacio Global City, where there are also rules against littering. Imagine what the picture would be like in other places around the country.

We guess we’re so casual about flicking trash onto the road—even out the car window when we’re driving—because we don’t have heavy penalties for the pollutive act (ones that are strictly implemented). It’s time we did.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.