THE Philippines’ hosting of the Miss Universe beauty pageant in January will not add to Metro Manila’s traffic woes because most of the activities will be held elsewhere, Tourism Secretary Corazon Teo said Monday.
She made the assurance as a result of fears the event will further worsen the horrendous traffic in the araea”•as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings did last year.
“The traffic mess is obviously the one single problem that besets our daily economic activities in Metro Manila, so we will find ways not to aggravate it,” Teo said.
She said most of the activities will be held in Palawan, Cebu, Batangas and Isabela. Davao, Vigan and Cagayan de Oro, where reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach hails from, are also possible venues for the pageant’s pre-coronation segments.
She said the Philippine Host Committee could also come up with suggestions in order not to aggravate the traffic gridlock.
A panel from her department has endorsed to President Rodrigo Duterte at least 12 government agencies that will come out with the master plan for holding the beauty contest.
The panel has discussed issues like facilitating the arrival of the Miss Universe participants from over 90 countries, the security at the various pageant venues, and coordinating with its partners in the private sector.
Duterte had cleared the Tourism department to host the beauty pageant here as long as no public funds were used.
Teo had earlier gave her assurance that private sponsors would shoulder the cost of holding the pageant, which will hold its coronation night on Jan. 30 at the Mall of Asia Arena.