The new Miss Universe Philippines (MUP) franchise has suspended its pageant activities due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat in the country.
The MUP said it is taking a “graceful pause to stand with the Filipino people” in an Instagram post.
“Pageant activities will be suspended with immediate effect to ensure the health and safety of our contestants, and for fans and production teams to focus on responding to the National Government’s recently implemented community quarantine,” the MUP said.
It also announced the Miss Universe Finals was moved on June 14, 2020, Sunday.
“MUPh remains committed to taking Philippine pageantry to amazing new heights. Measured adjustments to the competition schedule and delivery of new and exciting events are being finalized and will be announced in the coming days and weeks,” it added.
It also said the “Philippines’ four Miss Universe crowns are a testament to the country’s ability to come together as a people and support an important cause. The fight against COVID-19 is no different.”
Miss Universe Philippines cancels pageant activities
It encouraged the whole Miss Universe Philipines community “stay healthy, vigilant, and informed as the country works to rise above this evolving challenge.”
The MUP will continue to post online tourism videos of the contestants on its Facebook page Miss Universe Philippines, and on Youtube account Empire Philippines so everyone would still be reminded of the “beauty of the Philippines worthy to be celebrated beyond our coastlines.”
The Department of Health on Sunday confirmed 29 new cases of the COVID-19, raising to 140 the total number of patients afflicted with the illness.
The Philippines has won a total of four Miss Universe titles, with Catriona Gray as the latest who won the crown in 2018.