MANILA - Child rights group Salinlahi Alliance for Children's Concerns on Monday urged Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray to continue to fight for children's rights.
"While we congratulate you for your hard-earned victory, we encourage you to continue advocating and fighting for the rights of the Filipino children," the group said in a statement.
Many Filipino children, Salinlahi said, suffers from poverty, hunger, homelessness, abuses, and violence.
"This situation has been further aggravated by the 'lack of child support' primarily from the government who fails to do its mandate in upholding and protecting the rights of children and implements programs that place them in a very vulnerable situation and incomparable misery," the group said.
Echoing Gray's answer during the final question, Salinlahi also sees a silver lining despite the dire situation.
"We believe that through a collective effort, we can turn this dream into a reality," the group added.
Gray won the coveted title during the coronation held in Bangkok, Thailand Monday.
The 24-year-old Filipino-Australian model and singer, also a former Miss World Philippines titleholder, is an advocate for children's welfare and HIV/AIDS awareness.