Pia Wurtzbach to convince Duterte to host Miss Universe pageant

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Department of Tourism is gearing up for the hosting by the Philippines of this year’s Miss Universe pageant, and reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach herself will try to convince President Rodrigo Duterte to go ahead with the plan.

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said Monday the President has already approved the plan "in principle."

Wurtzbach was scheduled to meet Duterte later in the day to discuss the proposal.

Before her arrival in Manila on Saturday, Wurtzbach tweeted, "Fingers crossed! Hoping for the best!"

Teo said hosting the pageant it would boost tourism in the country. She said parts of the contest could take place in Palawan, Boracay, and Cebu – a bid to show more of the country to the world.

“Once Pia announces that Miss Universe is going to happen here, people abroad will start looking at the map and see where the Philippines is. And, we’re saying, we’d love to have you in the Philippines,” Teo said.

Wurtzbach will fly to Duterte's hometown of Davao City next month to attend the Kadayawan Festival, where she will judge a beauty pageant.

The Miss Universe Organization has not yet announced where the contest will be held.

The Philippines last hosted the Miss Universe contest in 1994, when India's Sushmita Sen took home the crown.