MANILA-- Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo on Wednesday said President Rodrigo R. Duterte is keen on holding the 2019 Miss Universe in Boracay following its rehabilitation this year.

Talks on holding another Miss Universe in the Philippines first surfaced in December 2017, but Teo then said it is up to the president whether to host the international event in Manila again.

"The president broached the idea that pag na-open, the Miss Universe will be held in Boracay," she told reporters in an interview on the sides of Buhay Carinderia-Redefined launch.

Asked if the Miss Universe Organization has been informed yet, Teo cleared no formal talks has yet been initiated.

"It's just an idea. Probably it's not this year, (maybe) we can have it next year," she said.

The DOT, together with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources are in the process of rehabilitating the island, which has been ridden with pollution for years.

"I'm sure we will see a different Boracay, those (infrastructure) in the wetland will be demolished, the drainage will be fixed and the roads will be widened," Teo said.

The total closure date of Boracay is set on April 26, but Teo assured they will fast-track the rehabilitation process.

"We wanted six months, I want it four months. Kung pwede, we want to do it fast," she said. (PNA)