MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has been clear from the very beginning: hosting the 2017 Miss Universe Pageant is not a priority of his administration and he does not want to spend a single centavo of government funds to stage the popular beauty contest in his country.
So, while pageant will still be held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila on January 30, 2017, it will be funded 100% by the private sector.
But then there is one problem.
Tickets to the pageant finals have gone on sale and the prices are astronomical. A VIP ticket reportedly costs over P35,000. General admission is fixed at P3,700 which amounts to more than a week’s pay for minimum wage earners.
“I cannot allow the pageant to be held in my country and yet my countrymen will not even be able to afford and watch the show,” Duterte said.
He then issued an Executive Order directing organizers to make the pageant free admission.
“I don’t care how the private sector will finance the pageant, so long as it will not involve any drug money,” the president emphasized.