Miss Universe Philippines assures candidates' safety after Miss Sorsogon quits due to COVID-19
"Wearing @markbumgarner always makes me feel like a princess. We were saving this dress for activities during the finals but the pandemic was such a villain. Im glad I have these photos of me wearing them," said Maria Isabela Galeria from Sorsogon, who quit from Miss Universe Philippines after getting COVID-19.
Maria Isabela Galeria via Instagram
Miss Universe Philippines assures candidates' safety after Miss Sorsogon quits due to COVID-19
Jan Milo Severo (Philstar.com) - October 21, 2020 - 1:15pm

MANILA, Philippines —  The Miss Universe Philippines Organization vowed to protect all of its candidates from the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after a candidate quit due to the illness.

In a statement sent to Philstar.com, the organization said their top priority is the safety of all candidates.

“The Miss Universe Philippines Organization’s top priority continues to be the health and safety of all our candidates. We remain committed to ensuring that we follow all of the protocols and guidelines set forth by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID),” the organization said.

The pageant will be held in Baguio on October 25. The pageant's organizers thanked the province’s local government for allowing them to film the pre-pageant activities.  

“We are grateful to the Baguio City government, especially to Mayor Benjamin Magalong, for allowing us to film the preliminary interview, national costume, swimsuit, evening gown, and grand finale that will crown the first Miss Universe Philippines at the Baguio Country Club on October 25, 2020. We have consistently coordinated with Baguio City officials to ensure that we follow their rigorous protocols in order to preserve its status as a COVID-free city,” it said.  

The organization also promised to provide the best care for their candidates as they tapped St. Lukes Medical Center as their health partner for swab testing.

“The Miss Universe Philippines Organization also made sure that we continue to provide care and support for all of our candidates as they go through their Miss Universe Philippines journey during this unprecedented time. We have chosen St. Luke’s Medical Center as our official health partner to conduct the swab testing for all of our candidates and provide the best care and treatment needed, should any of them become positive of COVID.”

It also said that they will continue to provide all the help for candidates who left the competition for testing positive for COVID-19, among other reasons.

“While it is unfortunate and heartbreaking to see some of our candidates leave the competition, we thank them for being a part of the Miss Universe Philippines family. We salute their bravery and courage as they go through this difficult time and rest assured, we will continue to provide all of the help and support they need. We strongly believe that this is not the end of their journey as they will soon emerge victorious to be able to pursue their dreams of becoming beauty queens."

The statement came days after a contestant, Maria Isabela Galeria from Sorsogon, posted on Instagram that she backed out from the pageant due to COVID-19.

"With a heavy heart, I believe now is not the right time to join the pageant. I still feel tired, and I don't think my body will allow me to participate in the activities of Miss Universe Philippines," said Galeria, who is now COVID-19 free but is still recovering from the disease.

RELATED: Heart Evangelista's bet quits Miss Universe Philippines due to COVID-19, candidates tour Benguet

MISS UNIVERSE PHILIPPINES 2020
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