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Chavit Singson Reportedly Spent $12 Million for Miss Universe 2016

Narvacan Mayor and businessman Chavit Singson says he's currently not the franchise holder of Miss Universe Philippines.
IMAGE YOUTUBE/AIKO MELENDEZ
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Narvacan, Ilocos Sur Mayor Chavit Singson says the cost of organizing the Miss Universe pageant is not a joke. In a one-on-one interview with Aiko Melendez, Singson recalled being the biggest sponsor when the Philippines hosted the most prestigious beauty pageant in the world.

Singson is the owner of the LCS Group of Companies—related to real estate, construction, agro-industrial enterprises, land and air transportation, sustainable electricity, gaming, and entertainment. According to Singson, he went to the headquarters of the Miss Universe Organization in New York when they were just talking about the contract.

He said the Miss Universe Organization did not know him as a businessman so the arrangement was very strict then.

Singson told Melendez, "Alam mo, naging malapit na kaibigan ko sila dahil nung una nagpunta ako sa New York, hindi nila ako kilala. Kilala ako as governor, pero di nila ako kilala [as businessman]. "Kasi in-explain nila sa akin nung nagpunta ako, 'You know, you have to spend six million [dollars].' 'Yeah, okay.' So, six million."

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He continued, "Andami nang punta ko, siguro diskumpiyado, 'You have to deposit one million dollars, unrefundable.' "Sinong negosyanteng gagawa nun? Wala. Magbigay ka ng one million dollars? Kung di mahusay usapan niyo, kumpiskado."

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Singson said he was surprised when he was asked for a downpayment for pageant expenses, but he still complied with other conditions of the Miss Universe Organization.

Singson continued: "Sige, deposito ako [ng one million dollars]. 'So, pirmahan na tayo?' 'No, no. You have to deposit six million [dollars].' Nagdeposito ako ng six million. 'Okay, let's sign.' 'You have to deposit another six million.' 'Why?' Yun ang gagastusin sa Miss Universe. Six million Miss Universe, six million gagastusin mo.'"

Singson assured the organization that he was ready to spend budget expenses when the preparations for Miss Universe began.

Singson said, "'E, gagastusin ko iyan.'" But the Miss Universe Organization said, "No, you have to deposit."

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In other words, the Miss Universe Organization allegedly wanted Singson to pay a deposit for the pageant's budget expenses before closing the deal and signing the contract. "Baka di ko raw gastusin. Ganoon kaistrikto. So, nagdeposito ako. Nagbigay ulit ako six million. So, 12 million [dollars in total]."

Singson spent up to $12 million as a sponsor. Apart from this, there was also the contribution of the other major sponsors of the pageant back then.

Miss Universe 2016 was joined by 86 candidates from different countries, and their schedule of activities then lasted from January 12 to 31, 2017.

The coronation night itself was held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on January 30.

Melendez commented that the acquisition of the Miss Universe Philippines franchise added to Singson's business properties. But Singson clarified, he is "tumutulong lang" Miss Universe Philippines now and he is not the owner of the franchise.

Singson said, "No. Binibigay nga sa akin. Pero hindi na... hindi ko na... hindi na kailangan. 'Tutulong na lang ako,' kako. Pero ngayon, binibigay sa akin, maski saan mundo ngayon, wala nang deposito. Noon pinagdedeposito ako. Ngayon, may discount pa."

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Starting in 2019, The Philippine Star reported on Singson's confirmation that he is the franchise holder of Miss Universe Philippines. Singson said earlier that from the BPCI, the Miss Universe Philippines Organization will be able to host the pageant for the Miss Universe pageant.

The Miss Universe Philippines franchise is under Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) for 55 years. The chair of BPCI is Stella Marquez Araneta. Until December 2019, the Miss Universe Philippines franchise was officially transferred to the Miss Universe Philippines Organization. It is led by Miss Universe third runner-up Shamcey Supsup as national director.

This story originally appeared on Pep.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Rachelle Siazon for PEP.ph
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