Early this year, Binibining Pilipinas-Universe Mary Jean Lastimosa’s gowns, created by Colombian designer Alfredo Barraza, made headlines after being tagged by netizens as the culprit behind her failure to qualify for the top 5 of the Miss Universe 2014 pageant.
Now, a neophyte lawmaker has passed a bill that will require Pinay beauty queens participating in international beauty contests to wear gowns designed or made by local designers.
Known as Filipino Fashion Designers for Filipino Beauty Pageant Contestants Act of 2015, House Bill 5691 was filed by Parañaque City Rep. Eric L. Olivarez.
Olivarez explained that nationality and design should showcase the Philippines’ “expression of excellence and ingenuity”.
“In any international contest, most especially international beauty pageants, nationality and design should always reflect the country’s expression of excellence and ingenuity. It is for this reason that our Filipino fashion designers, who are experts in their fields, should be the entrusted designers for our Filipino contestants in international beauty pageants,” Olivarez wrote.
International fashion designers can provide assistance
The bill created by Olivarez also allows international fashion designers to give assistance to Pinoy fashion designers in the creation of garments for Filipina beauty queens. However, they should be working as a member of a team headed by a Filipino designer.
“The foreign fashion designer may also assist the Filipino fashion designer in the selection of materials to be used for the finished products to conform to factors such as age, gender and physical status of the Filipino contestants,” Olivarez added.
National Commission for Culture and the Arts to regulate fashion designers
Under HB 5691, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts is tasked to supervise local designers for beauty competitions and other fashion design contests in which the country is participating.
Olivarez’s measure will penalise franchise holders, organizers, handlers, or sponsors whether an individual or an institution who will violate any of the provisions. Violators shall be given a fine of P100,000 or imprisonment of six months or both at the discretion of the court.
Featured Photo Credits to GMA Network