The Philippine government has clarified that no public funds were spent on the recently concluded “Isang Pilipinas” fashion show held in Malacañang on Tuesday, Aug. 8.
"The government does not spend anything on the event because it is paid for by the designers and private institutions they partner with," Deputy Social Secretary Dina Arroyo Tantoco said in a statement on Monday, Aug. 14.
The statement comes after progressive groups criticized the exhibition's relevance with the country’s mounting problems of inflation and poverty, among others.
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, for one, described the exhibition as an "insensitive" move as the "country is deep in debt."
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The “Isang Pilipinas” is the third installment of the “Fashion at Goldenberg” series, a project spearheaded by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos. For this specific event, works of notable fashion designer Michael Leyva were modeled by celebrities like Heart Evangelista and Bianca Manalo.
Tantoco added that it aims to serve as a platform for Filipino artists to take pride in their craft, while also boasting local textiles and designs relevant to the country’s “cultural identity.
"The output is a collaboration between various creatives in the industry and creates awareness, thereby generating demand, for local fabrics and designs which have always been instrumental in our cultural identity," she said.
With reports from Helen Flores