REIGNING Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach and the Department of Tourism (DOT) will meet with President Rodrigo Duterte today to discuss a proposal aimed at holding the 2016 Miss Universe beauty pageant in the country.
According to the DOT, there will be a media briefing at noon with Wurtzbach and Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo, after which the two will meet with the President to discuss whether the Philippines will host the 2016 Miss Universe pageant.
DOT Undersecretary for Advocacy and Public Relations Kat De Castro said, “We are still waiting for the final approval of the President. Secretary Teo and Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach will meet with the President to discuss this.”
In a meeting with tourism leaders last week, Teo said the President has approved “in principle” her proposal for the Philippines to host the Miss Universe pageant in Manila, saying, “The President agreed that sponsoring the event would be a tourism marketing coup with Philippines’ Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach at the helm.”
“Sponsoring Miss Universe is our focus right now, with the plan and sources of funding in tow. We are ready to seize the moment,” Teo said.
“Once Pia announces that the Miss Universe [pageant]is going to happen here, people abroad will start looking at the map and see where the Philippines is. And, we’re saying, we’d love to have you in [the Philippines],” she added.
Teo said she plans to have the segments of the month-long beauty pageant in various tourist sites in Palawan, Boracay and Cebu, which topped the World’s Best Islands 2016 awards by Travel & Leisure magazine.
KRISTYN NIKA M. LAZO