Trust and Governance in the Philippines and Singapore: A comparative Analysis


  • Jon S.T. Quah


According to the 2007 World Bank governance indicators, the total percentile rank for Singapore is 514.8 while that for the Philippines is 216.3. Transparency International’s 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index for 180 countries shows that  Singapore’s rank of 4th position and score of 9.2 is much higher than the Philippines’ rank of 141st position and score of 2.3. Similarly, the level of public trust in politicians’ honesty is higher in Singapore than the Philippines according to the Global Competitiveness Reports, which indicated that Singapore was ranked first from 1999 to 2003-2004 and the Philippines was ranked 49th among 59 countries in 1999 and 94th among 102 countries in 2003-2004. Similarly, in 2007-2008, Singapore was ranked first and the Philippines was ranked 119th among the 131 countries surveyed. The purpose of this article is to explain why the level of trust and governance in Singapore is higher than that in the Philippines. These two countries are selected for analysis because of the availability of comparative data. Apart from examining the differences in levels of governmental effectiveness, political stability, and the effectiveness of anti-corruption strategies, this article also analyzes the significant differences in policy context between the two countries. The article concludes that Singapore’s higher level of trust and governance can be attributed to its effective political leadership which has delivered the goods and succeeded in curbing corruption during its 50 years in power and its favorable policy context. Conversely, the lower level of trust and governance in the Philippines is the result of political instability, the failure of the political leaders to deliver the goods and combat corruption effectively, and its unfavorable policy context.

Author Biography

Jon S.T. Quah

Jon S.T. Quah, Ph.D., Anti-Corruption Consultant, Singapore.


How to Cite

Quah, J. S. (2014). Trust and Governance in the Philippines and Singapore: A comparative Analysis. International Public Management Review, 11(2), 4–37. Retrieved from