• President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not spend money on hosting Miss Universe pageant
  • Duterte intends to prioritize on attending to the needs of the poor, and rehabilitation of centers to treat drug addicts nationwide instead of using it for pageant
  • Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo estimated that the Philippines will be spending around 12 million US dollars to host the pageant

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not spend money on hosting Miss Universe pageant after it was recently confirmed that the prestigious pageant will be held in the Philippines next year.

Coconuts Manila mentioned in an article that Duterte intends to prioritize on attending to the needs of the poor, and rehabilitation centers to treat drug addicts nationwide instead of using the funds in the pageant.

“Dili ko. Gasto” (I don’t like. Expensive). I will not waste money on that,” Duterte said.

The president made the statement while talking to MindaNews reporter and Editha Caduaya, Rappler’s Davao City correspondent, at the living room of his official residence, Bahay Pagbabago after 1 a.m. on Tuesday.

The president was enjoying the afternoon while drinking his favorite canned soda paired with ubeng turon brought by Honeylet Avancena from Davao City early Monday morning.

“Sinabi ko talaga kay Wanda (I really told Wanda) that I will not spend a single centavo on that,” he said.

An article by Carolyn O. Arguillas for Minda News said that Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo estimated that the Philippines will be spending around 12 million US dollars to host the pageant.

In a press release of the Department of Tourism last July 14, Duterte said he “has approved in principle” Teo’s proposal to host Miss Universe contest in 2017.

”The President agreed that sponsoring the event would be a tourism marketing coup with Philippines’ Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach at the helm,” the DOT press release quoted Teo.

The statement said further that Teo “assured that commercial sponsors have offered to put up part of the franchise money.”

“Sponsoring Miss Universe is our focus right now, with the plan and sources of funding in tow. We are ready to seize the moment,” she said.

If ever it will push through, this is the third time the Philippines will host the Miss Universe pageant, as we hosted it first in 1974 and then in 1994.