• Department of Tourism secretary Wanda Teo has confirmed that the country will host the next Miss Universe pageant
  • This is after an informal statement made by President Duterte that the government will not spend money on the pageant
  • The next Miss Universe pageant will be on  January 30, 2017

In an informal statement made by President Rodrigo Duterte, he said he is not willing to spend money to host the next Miss Universe pageant in the country; leading the  public to believe the plan will not push through.

However, in a press conference on Thursday, July 28, the Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo confirms that it is indeed happening, as per an article published by Rappler.

“I would like to inform everybody that the Miss Universe pageant will be on January 30, 2017 in the Philippines,” Teo said. “The government is not going to spend any single centavo. It will be the private sector who would shoulder the expenses.”

The budget for the said pageant is estimated to reach around P500 million.

Tourism Undersecretary Kat de Castro added: “Private sector will handle the expenses. The president’s concern was the gastos [expense]. But when we assured him that there will be no funding from the government, he said, okay. ‘This is already okay’ So we don’t know where the news report came from that he did not like it. He never said that.”

To dispel the rumors regarding the President’s statement, Teo sought permission from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea for the Tourism board to make the media announcement that the pageant will be held in the country, as per an article published by CNN.

“The administrative order will be signed before the end of the month,” Teo added.

When asked to name who will be sponsoring the event, the Tourism chief confirmed that Japanese billionaire and Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. chairman, Kazuo Okada and Philippines’ richest business magnate, Henry Sy, are among them.

The country last hosted the Miss Universe pageant in 1994 when Sushmita Sen was crowned by reigning Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres. In 2017, reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach will crown her successor.