Miss Universe Philippines denies it refused to pay trophy designer

Miss Universe Philippines denies it refused to pay trophy designer

Jef Albea’s commissioned work stand before The Miss Philippines queens (from left)Tarah Valencia, Ahtisa Manalo, Cyrille Payumo, and Alexie Brooks./ARMIN P. ADINA

The Miss Universe Philippines Organization (MUPH) has refuted the allegations its trophy maker Jef Albea has made in a social media post, accusing the pageant of refusing to compensate him for his creations.

According to the pageant organization, Albea’s claims are mere “unfounded allegations,” and that there was no intension to renege on their agreement.

“[MUPH] vehemently denies the unfounded allegations made by [Albea] regarding the payment for the trophies he supplied. Contrary to his claims, we have had communications with his staff on this matter,” the organization said in a statement posted on social media on June 13, a day after the artist made the accusation.

MUPH further “categorically” denied that it “refused to pay, disregarded or ignored payment for the trophies,” saying it was merely following the standard procedure for billing its suppliers. “MUPh needs proper documentation for the said transaction,” the organization added.

The pageant’s program head, Borg Roxas, earlier addressed the matter on social media, saying he was “surprised” with Albea’s allegations, because the artist’s team had been in touch with MUPH on June 11.

“All the suppliers sent their billing statements and invoices prior to May 22, so everything will be aligned. Those who sent their paperwork early were paid ahead,” Roxas said in a mix of English and Filipino.

“With Sir Jef, aside from we are paying him, we are also promoting him. We never promoted any other suppliers because we’re glad that he was willing to help elevate the gifts for the winners,” he continued.

Roxas also said that Albea did not meet the cutoff for payments released on May 30 “because he did not submit his papers.” He also added that after the talk between the artist’s team and MUPH, the compensation was scheduled for release on June 15.

MUPH said it “will not hesitate to pursue legal action to address and resolve this unfounded accusation”

The organization added in its statement: “We urge the public to refrain from spreading misinformation and have faith that the truth will ultimately prevail.”

Roxas said the artist was paid P150,000 for his works.

Four of Albea’s sculptures were awarded to the newly-crowned titleholders under The Miss Philippines in a media conference held on June 10. They were received by Miss Supranational Philippines Tarah Valencia, Miss Cosmo Philippines Ahtisa Manalo, Miss Charm Philippines Cyrille Payumo, and Miss Eco International Philippines Alexie Brooks.

Tropies made by Jef Albea for The Miss Philippines queens. Image: Facebook/Miss Universe Philippines, Jef Albea

In his post, Albea said he did not get paid after rendering his commissioned work, and that MUPH “vanished into thin air” and refused to pay him for the trophies that he designed and crafted for the coronation night.

He further declared that he will no longer accept “a single centavo” from MUPH. “What I need now is for them to learn that artists deserve respect,” he said.

Albea was also commissioned to make trophies for the Miss Universe Philippines pageant’s sister search, The Miss Philippines Culture and Heritage Celebration, and the counterpart male tilt Mister Pilipinas Worldwide, held in October last year.