IN PREPARATION for the upcoming Miss Universe 2017 pageant in the Philippines, the Duterte administration guaranteed on Friday (December 9) that “strict and elaborate” security measures are underway to ensure that the most-awaited event will come out successful.
In a press conference, Local Government Undersecretary Emily Padilla said the Philippine National Police (PNP) will prevent any untoward incident to happen “before, during, or close to and after” the Miss Universe, considering the pageant’s global attraction.
“Strict and elaborate security measures will be in place to prevent the alleged lawless elements from doing something [during the Miss Universe pageant],” Padilla said.
“Police, in partnership with other government agencies, are prepared as far as security matters are concerned… We cannot afford any lapses in security. Our enforcement agencies will make sure that there will be a safe and successful holding of the Miss Universe,” she added.
Padilla said the PNP’s committee on security, peace and order, and emergency preparedness and response conducted a command conference on Thursday (December 8) as an early preparation for the Miss Universe pageant.
Tourism Assistant Secretary Ricky Alegre admitted that the government is having difficulty on how to control the crowd who will surely get excited when the pageant materializes.
Alegre said the government is now thinking to come up with some rules to control the “selfies and the group selfies” of the candidates’ supporters.
“Can you imagine everybody wanting to have a selfie with a Miss Universe candidate? Having a picture? So I believe that’s where the challenge is, you cannot stop the excitement when we don’t intend to stop the excitement,” Alegre said.
“We need to be able to have some rules before they can approach the candidates... We just have to find ways to control the selfies and the group shots and the group selfies because that’s gonna be all over the place,” he added.
Padilla assured that the government would mobilize its law enforcement forces not only in Metro Manila but also in all provinces that the contestants of the beauty pageant are going to visit.
Earlier in the day, Miss USA Deshauna Barber and Miss New Zealan Tania Pauline Dawnson arrived in Manila.
A half-Filipina, Dawnson was elated by the warm welcome she received from the Filipino people.
“It’s amazing to hop off the plane and have so many people at the airport ready to see us and their love was really what made this trip amazing,” she told Palace reporters. “I’m really looking forward to all the experiences that we’re gonna have while we’re here.”
Likewise, Barber was grateful that the Filipinos welcomed the two of them “with open arms.”
“We’re just incredibly excited to be here and we look forward to seeing more around the country,” she said.