Miss Universe 2017 to be held again in the Philippines in November, says DOT

MANILA, May 26 -- The Philippines has been offered the hosting rights to the next edition of the Miss Universe pageant this November, Department of Tourism (DOT) chair Wanda Teo revealed to ABS-CBN News on Thursday.

"Pinagaaralan pa namin iyan pero that's true, they are asking us to host it again this year," Teo told ABS-CBN News' Mario Dumaual. The DOT chief shared that members of Miss Universe Organization were pleased with the job they did,  "So they really want it badly here in the Philippines." 

Recent rumors indicated that the 2017 Miss Universe would take place in Chateauroux, France, mid-December, but nothing was denied nor confirmed by the organization.  Reigning titleholder Iris Mittenaere pointed out several times -to French media- the interest to bring the international pageant to France, yet nothing was finalized.

Teo said that her department will be pushing for more control over the event this time. "We want it na we would be the one controlling it," she said.  She also added that they, much like last time, will be looking for sponsors to shoulder the expenses. 

The 65th Miss Universe pageant took place in the Philippines last January thanks to the initiative of former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson and mogul Kasuo Okada. 

Its parent company, WME-IMG, has called for the transformation of the beauty pageant to make it more relevant, focusing on personal stories, empowerment, and education; something that has not exactly been accepted by traditional fans of the contest who are used to the winners being selected by their physical beauty.

The 2017 Miss Universe is scheduled for November.  Teo added that a team from the MUO will visit the Philippines in June to inspect alternative venues. It would be the first time that a country outside the United States -and its territories- hosts the pageant over two consecutive years.

 DOT Secretary Wanda Teo; Mittenaere; MUO President Paula Shugart and Chavit Singson during the 65th Miss Universe Pageant in the Philippines

DOT Secretary Wanda Teo; Mittenaere; MUO President Paula Shugart and Chavit Singson during the 65th Miss Universe Pageant in the Philippines