Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach waves Philippine flag during her homecoming parade.
Philstar.com / Efigenio Toledo IV, file
DOT: Philippines has 90 percent chance of hosting Miss Universe 2018
Jan Milo Severo (Philstar.com) - May 7, 2018 - 1:18pm

MANILA, Philippines — Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said the country has a 90 percent chance of hosting the 67th Miss Universe this year.

Speaking on the sidelines of the "World’s Strongest Man" finals on May 6, Teo said the Philippines' hosting of the pageant is "almost a done deal" with the Miss Universe Organization (MUO). 

She also hopes that the swimsuit competition will be held in Boracay, in time for its reopening after six months of rehabilitation.

This may confirm speculations that the pageant will be held in the country after reigning Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa and Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere of France were seen at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Saturday morning to attend Miss Universe events.

Nel-Peters and Mittenaere said they were in favor of the Philippines' hosting of the pageant.

In the 2016 edition of the Miss Universe pageant, it was the Chavit Singson group of companies that sponsored the event. Nonethless, according to reports, Singson would no longer sponsor the pageant should it be held in the Philippines this year.

“We will be looking for more sponsors and we are already talking to someone,” the Department of Tourism's chief said.

When asked if the government would shell out funds for the event, she said a portion of the costs might have to be shouldered by the government.

MUO, through its president Paula Shugart, said they are keeping its options open regarding the venue of this year's pageant.

The Philippines hosted the Miss Universe pageant in 1974, 1994 and 2016 and has produced three titleholders, including Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, Margarita Moran in 1974 and Gloria Diaz in 1969.

Catriona Gray will represent the Philippines in this year’s Miss Universe.

MISS UNIVERSE
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