Style Living Self Celebrity Geeky News and Views
In the Paper BrandedUp Hello! Create with us Privacy Policy

Miss Universe Philippines organization denies not paying artist, says 'proper billing' is needed first

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Jun 13, 2024 6:51 pm

The Miss Universe Philippines Organization has broken their silence on the "unsettled payments" alleged by visual artist Jef Albea over the trophies he created for the coronation night.

The organization "vehemently denied" that they refused to pay Albea.

"Contrary to his claims, we have had communications with his staff on this matter," it said in a statement. "We categorically deny that the MUPh Org. neither refused to pay, disregarded or ignored payment for the trophies."

Additionally, the pageant organizer stated they were following "standard procedure for billing for suppliers to sponsors" and needed proper documentation for the said transaction.

They added that they "will not hesitate" to pursue legal action regarding the accusation.

On Facebook, MUPh Project Head Borg Roxas also addressed what transpired during the finals night that led to the issue with the trophy maker.

"On the day of the finals pinadala 'yung mga artwork, and on that day din namin nalaman through his assistant na need magbayad ng P75,000 pesos," Roxas said.

"Magulo na lahat backstage and wala naman may hawak ng cash. So sinabi namin na kailangan proper documentation like billing," he added.

According to Roxas, the MUPh staff were already finalizing the billing as the pageant had a large number of suppliers. Albea's team was still in talks with them up until June 12, which is the day when he made his allegations about not getting paid for his work.

Roxas went on to explain that the other suppliers were paid first because they had already sent their billing statements before the end of May.

"With Sir Jef, aside from we are paying him, we are also promoting him. We never promoted any other suppliers kasi natuwa kami na he was willing to help elevate the gifts for the winners," he stressed.

"Nakakalungkot lang na nagpopost na agad siya na magkausap naman sila ng staff. Hindi siya nakasama sa May 30 cut-off kasi walang papers. Kaya sa June 15 cut-off siya nakasama kasi magkausap sila ng staff," he added.

Roxas further denied Albea's claims that they had "vanished into thin air" when it was time to pay for his work, recalling that they had paid him P150,000 last year during the finals night of The Miss Philippines.

"'Yung tatakasan ang 75k, bakit namin gagawin yun eh last October binayaran namin siya? Pero since malaki MUPh need namin ng proper documentation. Again, hindi ang MUPh ang nagkamali dito," Roxas underscored.

"Sa production side, kailangan namin i-defend sa management kahit walang billing or invoice. Nag-yes naman agad management sa amin. Pero sa usual na may billing and proper documentation lang para pag dating sa filing ng taxes, ma-defend namin ang expenses. Lahat naman mababayaran," he ended.

Albea's post has since garnered more than 200,000 reactions from social media users. In his statement, he firmly stated that he would no longer accept payments from the organization and instead wanted them to learn that artists like him "deserve respect."

"We pour our hearts and souls into our creations. Our ideas don't just appear from thin air just to work for an xdeal. They are the result of intense thought, deep emotions, and sleepless nights. Not to mention, opportunities missed, money and years spent honing our craft," he said.

He received many supportive comments from other online users, who agreed that art should not be free.

Chelsea Anne Manalo of Bulacan was crowned the newest Miss Universe Philippines titleholder during the pageant's grand coronation night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on May 22.

Manalo bested 52 other aspirants to succeed Michelle Dee, who won last year's competition.