Street families might 'go on vacation' during Miss Universe 2016 – Teo
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism is considering sending some street dwellers in Metro Manila on vacation during the Miss Universe 2016 main events to be held in the megacity next year.
"I think we’re going to do that too, like when we did with the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) and during the arrival of the Pope, when they came over, when he came over," said Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo on Thursday, September 1.
During the visit of Pope Francis, the Department of Social Welfare and Development paid for the "outing" of some street families, supposedly an annual trip for Modified Conditional Cash Transfer beneficiaries.
Some 600 persons stayed in a Batangas resort for 5 days.
The Aquino administration had been heavily criticized for seeming to "hide" the poor families from the Pope. But the DSWD denied this was their intention, saying it was for the "safety" of the families.
The removal of homeless people from Manila streets also reportedly happened during the 2015 APEC Summit hosted by the Philippines.
Pressed further on what would be done to the street dwellers during the international beauty pageant, Teo said Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo will have the final say.
"I leave that to Secretary Judy to take care of them. I think we will be doing... we’ll take care of them in a more humane way," said Teo.
But in a text message to media, Taguiwalo said there are "no plans" in her department in relation to street dwellers during the event.
In fact, she received different instructions from President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Ang instruction ni President, huwag sila itago (The instruction of the President is not to hide them)," she said.
Miss Universe 2016 will be held in the Philippines on January 30, 2017.
Teo championed the hosting, promising Duterte the private sector will be the one to raise the funds needed to host the event. (READ: Chavit Singson secures major sponsors for Miss Universe 2016) – Rappler.com