Pia Wurtzbach questions measly amount given to Miss Universe 2023 ‘Voice for Change’ beneficiary
Pia Wurtzbach appeared to question the mechanics of Miss Universe 2023’s “Voice for Change” video contest, as she wondered why the winner’s chosen beneficiary will only receive $12,000 (P672,948).
The Philippines’ own Michelle Dee was named as one of the pageant’s “Voice for Change” gold honorees during the coronation in El Salvador last Nov. 18 (Nov. 19 in Manila) with Angola’s Ana Bárbara Coimbra and Puerto Rico’s Karla Guilfu.
Dee also topped the contest’s online voting where she led her closest competitor and reigning titleholder Sheynnis Palacios from Nicaragua by 100,000 votes.
Despite this, Wurtzbach admitted that she has “so many questions” in her Instagram Broadcast Channel “Life Updates with Pia” on the same day. “So wait… magkano ang isang vote sa (how much does one vote cost in) ‘Voice for Change?’ 1 USD? How many votes did the top girls get?” she asked.
“One USD per vote tapos umaabot sa hundreds of thousands ‘yung votes pero 12k USD lang mapupunta sa chosen charity ng winners?” she continued. “So kung maka-300k votes = 300k USD. Tapos 12k lang ibibigay sa isang charity??”
(One vote costs $1, then what if the votes cross hundreds of thousands? Then the winners’ chosen charity will only receive $12,000. Does it mean that approximately 300,000 votes automatically costs $300,000? Then the charity will only receive $12,000?)
The former titleholder then clarified that she meant well with her inquiry, but pointed out that the mechanics of the contest should instead be allotted to the candidates’ advocacy and be some sort of incentive to enter the Top 20.
“‘Di naman ako part ng org and nobody asked… pero sana percent ng votes mapunta sa charity. Like kung 300k ng votes, 50% of it can go to their advocacy tapos para may incentive lalo magvote mga tao. May sure slot and top girl sa Top 20,” she said. “Sana pala straight to their advocacy nalang ‘yung prinomote ng girls.”
“I’m not part of the organization and nobody asked. But I hope the percent of votes went to charities instead. Like if her votes reach 300,000, 50% of it can go to the candidate’s chosen advocacy, as well as an added incentive to vote more. She will go to the Top 20, for example. I hope the money went straight to promote the girls’ advocacy instead.”
Wurtzbach nonetheless congratulated Palacios for her coronation, while noting that she’s “deserving” to win the Miss Universe 2023 title.
“Still… we have a deserving winner. What a beautiful crowning moment and such a heartfelt reaction,” she said.
In a vlog which was uploaded by pageant fans, Wurtzbach further said that while Palacios was deserving of the crown, the latter couldn’t help but wonder what could have happened if Dee made it to the Top 5 and had the chance to answer a few questions.
“‘Cause she (Dee) is good at Q&A, and you wonder, when you think of what could have been,” she said.
The pageant’s “Voice for Change” contest was said to be a platform that puts the spotlight on the candidates’ advocacies to make a change in society. In her video, Dee spoke about her lifelong commitment to autism awareness while sharing glimpses of her life as an actress, beauty queen, and Philippine Air Force reservist.
“The Miss Universe 2023 Voice for Change videos are aligned with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These goals are a universal call to action, a blueprint for a better world by 2030,” the contest website read.
Per reports, winners will receive $12,000 (P672,948) from the program’s sponsors CI Talk and Mouawad, the pageant’s crown provider. Details of the online polls, selection committee, purpose, and video entries can be found on its official website.
The Miss Universe Organization (MUO) has yet to clarify the full mechanics and criteria of the contest, as of this writing.