By: Elena Grace Flores
It was a near miss with regards to the Department of Tourism’s having the great chance of a lifetime to promote Philippine tourism just by holding the Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines. When it’s true that we cannot have everything granting that we have the so-called “thinking” president, it just didn’t cross his mind how much money we could lose for refusing to be the venue of this prestigious world-class event. It is just unbelievable to think that President Rodrigo Duterte would rather spend a lot of money to kill drug lords and lobby with the rebels and take for granted this tourism opportunity.
Perhaps. Tourism secretary Wanda Teo already realized the bad side of Duterte but she was quick to do something about it. What else is there to do when funding is the problem but to do how most tourism projects in the past were done. Get it sponsored by the private sector and just ask for permits and if possible appearance of top government officials or the president himself during launching or better, during the program proper. Last July 27, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would not spend government funds on hosting the Miss Universe pageant – leading people to believe that it will be channeled to a willing host country who knows its significance. However, Henry Sy’s sponsorship and others took care of the problem and so the administrative order will be signed before the end of the month.
Teo announced that funding will come from the private sector and confirms that among the sponsors are Henry Sy and Japanese casino mogul Kazuo Okada. The announcement was made last Thursday, July 28, at a press conference in Makati City by Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. The Miss Universe pageant will be on January 30, 2017 in the Philippines and the government is not going to spend any single centavo. It will be the private sector shouldering the expenses.” Okada, Sy among the sponsors.
Teo assured the President that the government will not shoulder any of the expenses amounting to $11 million. The tourism chief also confirmed that Japanese billionaire and Tiger Resort chief Kazuo Okada, as well as the country’s richest man, Henry Sy, are among the sponsors.