Pia, Duterte meet for Philippine hosting of Miss Universe pageant

Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach and President Rodrigo Duterte met at Malacanang Palace on July 18 to discuss the possibility of holding next year's Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines.

Pia and Duterte looked like they had a good chat, with the President indulging Pia in a selfie, and Pia all smiles while they were talking.

A selfie with the President (Image Credit: @jonasofmercator)

There's no official announcement yet but Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said that holding Miss Universe in the Philippines has been "approved in principle" by the President.

In a statement issued last Friday, Teo said "The President agreed that sponsoring the event would be a tourism marketing coup" with Pia at the helm.

Teo said that holding the pageant in the Philippines would benefit the country in terms of tourism promotion. Miss Universe will put us on the map and will give the opportunity to pitch tourist spots in the Philippines as the pageant rolls on.

Once the deal for Miss Universe has been finalized, segments of the pageant will be filmed in tourist sites located at Boracay, Cebu, and Palawan.

The Tourism Secretary added that because of Pia, the Miss Universe team offered the hosting of the pageant to the Philippines.

The Miss Universe Organization reportedly assured Teo that the franchise fee for the pageant would be much lower than what Russia and Brazil paid for. Brazil shelled out $17 million in 2011 while Russia paid $16 million to host the pageant.

Sources of the funding for hosting Miss Universe are in the works. Commercial sponsors have reportedly expressed their interest in the Miss Universe pageant even now, if ever it's going to be held in the Philippines.

The country has hosted the Miss Universe pageant twice - in 1994, when Amparo Munoz won and in 1994, when Sushmita Sen of India emerged as winner.

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