Panama has declined to stage the 2013 Miss Universe contest, two months after it was announced that the project is almost a done-deal between the government and the pageant organizers.
Reports also said the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) and ABS-CBN, new home of the BPCI, may soon bid for the staging of the world’s most prestigious beauty pageant in the Philippines.
If the Philippines wins the bid, it would be the third time for the Miss Universe pageant to be held in the country. It was first held in the country in 1974 when Miss Spain Amparo Munoz won the title. This was followed in 1994 when Miss India Sushmita Sen was crowned.
2011 Miss Universe 3rd runner up Shamcey Supsup earlier said she would love the Miss Universe pageant to be staged in the country “to show to the world what the Philippines can offer.’’Panama said the $12 million budget for the holding of the beauty pageant would be too much, adding that they could not afford to stage the contest at this point, according to the website Global Beauties as reported in the Panama newspaper Mi Diario.
Salo Shamah, head of Panama’s Tourism Administration, confirmed that the Miss Universe Organization and the national government had met on several occasions to discuss the project.
But last week, Panama President Ricardo Martinelli decided that they could not afford the staging of the beauty pageant.
“We don’t even have $12 million for our annual advertising project,’’ Shamah said. “Even if private companies were able to fund half the money that is needed, it is still a big hit to our government budget.’’
Authorities also said that the few minutes of telecast of the country’s top destinations are not worth it because most of the viewers are from Asia “who have no direct flights to our country.’’
Panama recently made a good standing in the 2011 Miss Universe beauty pageant in Sao Paulo, Brazil when its contestant Sheldry Saez placed among the Top 10 semifinalists and won the Best National Costume award. Panama staged the Miss Universe beauty pageant twice – in 1986 and 2003.
Source: Manila Bulitin