Philippine representative Kathleen Paton bagged the Miss Eco International crown on Thursday, March 17 (Friday, March 18, in PH) in the pageant which took place in Egypt.
Kathleen bested representatives from Belgium (1st runner-up), USA (2nd runner-up), Spain (3rd runner-up), and Malaysia (4th runner-up).
In the final question and answer portion of the pageant for the top 5, she was asked, "As a titleholder, you're a public figure. Do you think it's important to stay neutral on controversial social issues or to use your title to promote your own belief, and why?"
Kathleen responded, "It is a very tough question in all honesty because we are at the forefront of opinions and negativity every single day, especially on social media. I do believe as a leader and as someone who is very influential in society, we sometimes have to use our voice in a very neutral state of mind because we have a very influential position. But in doing so we also need to use our voice in order to motivate other people to stand up for what is right, and I think that takes a lot of good moral compass."
Meanwhile, Kathleen delivered a message about water pollution during the top 10 question and answer portion of the pageant.
"Water pollution is a huge issue in the Philippines. A lot of Filipinos actually don't have access to clean drinking water. And I believe it is a right for every single human being, especially to my [fellow] Filipinos, to have access to clean water," she stated.
She continued, "Therefore I aim to work with a company called 100 for All to give free access to water by giving out water filtration systems not just to one family, but to the whole community."
Kathleen is the second Miss Eco International title holder from the Philippines.
In 2018, Philippine representative Cynthia Thomalla received the title.