Hosting Miss Universe sans government funding doable
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - July 29, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Private sector stakeholders are confident that the Philippines can ably host the next Miss Universe pageant with or without monetary support from the government.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said that although he is not against the hosting of the international pageant in the Philippines, he made it clear that he will not be spending for it, stressing that the government has more important things to prioritize such as infrastructure spending.

Duterte however said that if the private sector will shoulder the cost, which is estimated around $10 to $12 million, then it is fine with him.

Tourism capitalist Jay Aldeguer said: “"The Miss Universe (pageant) is a world renowned event that continues to get a strong following. I really think it shouldn't be too difficult to get sponsorships to subsidize the event."

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president Glenn Soco said Duterte's proposal to let the private sector fund the global event is the ideal set-up.

"Miss Universe is a global marketing event.The private sector can muster the resources needed to stage the event," added Soco.

Tourism advocate and current Department of Tourism (DOT) consultant Robert Lim Joseph likewise shared the same belief, saying that if the Philippines can get sponsors, "then it’s a go."

Reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach met Duterte earlier this month to talk about the possibility of the Philippines to host the next Miss Universe pageant.

In a report from Philstar.com, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said Duterte has already approved the proposal to host the international pageant in principle. Teo, who strongly supports the plan, added that hosting the pageant would boost the tourism industry of the Philippines.

Confirmed

Yesterday, Rappler reported that Teo confirmed that the Miss Universe pageant will be held in the Philippines on January 30, 2017 but the government will not be spending anything for the event.

The private sector will be funding the event. Although, Teo stopped short of revealing who the sponsors are, she however confirmed that Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada and Philippines' richest Henry Sy as among them.

The Philippines hosted the Miss Universe pageant in 1974 and 1994.

Same goes for Miss Cebu

The local private sector leaders likewise expressed confidence that if the Miss Universe pageant can be done through private sponsorships, then there’s no reason why the Miss Cebu has to be cancelled.

Earlier this month, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he will cancel the holding of Miss Cebu because the city government is wasting P4 million for a pageant that is not really drawing in tourists.

He however said that he will make the Sinulog Festival Queen grander in lieu of the "elitist" Miss Cebu pageant.

However, like Duterte, he said it would be fine if the private sector will spend for the event.

Joseph said there are private organizations or even tourism related groups like the Network of Independent Travel Agencies (NITAs) that can ably organize the Miss Cebu Pageant.

According to Soco, like the Miss Universe, holding a private sector organized Miss Cebu can be done because it is already a brand and it would be easier for organizers to solicit sponsorships for the event. (FREEMAN)

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