Pia Wurtzback Image Credit: Supplied

Outgoing Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach has decided to auction seven boxes of wardrobes she used for a year, to raise funds for street dwellers and poor people in her hometown in southern Philippines.

“It is one way of giving back to the people of Cagayan de Oro,” said Wurtzbach, adding she has decided to express “heartfelt thanks” because she could not return to her hometown — she has a very tight schedule after the Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines which will end on January 30.

Wurtzbach said, “I will write down the prices for each of the dresses and the events and places where I wore them.”

Miss Universe Organization (MUO) head Paula Shugart praised and supported Wurtzbach’s plan.

Wurtzbach did not say if she will also create a non-government organisation (NGO) to help street dwellers in her hometown. She did not specify if her assistance will be spread to all street dwellers or just to street children.

Since 2015, Cagayan de Oro has been aiming to reach a zero-street children level, a very ambitious vision.

According to the Population Commission, the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWD) of Cagayan de Oro has helped 225 street children in 2000 and 478 in 2001. The 100 per cent yearly increase in number of street children in those years means Cagayan de Oro has reached an astronomical number of street dwellers by 2017. Compassionate individuals and private groups have been encouraged to channel their assistance to NGOs that have taken the burden for street dwellers in Cagayan de Oro.

The state is tasked to provide assistance, care, and protection to street children whose parents and guardians have reneged on their duty to give children basic rights to balanced diet, clothing, shelter, medical attention, education, and protection against exploitation — as listed by the country’s Child and Youth Welfare Code.

President Rodrigo Duterte advised organisers earlier not to pressure the social welfare department to round up street dwellers and hide them in resorts during the Miss Universe pageant.