Nov 30, 2019

In a press conference held last Nov. 29, Friday, Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) said that the opening ceremonies for the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) will only be broadcasted through one official channel. Photographers from local media outlets will not be allowed to cover the event.

PHISGOC’s director for broadcast and media, Pauline Ick, says that the event will have its own official photographers and official photos will be released only through SEA Games’ official channels.

In response to this, the Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines released an open letter addressed to PHISGOC Chair and House Speaker Alan Cayetano that urge him and the organizing committee to let photographers cover the event.

The letter says, “As documenters of the country’s history, we have been witness and recorders of every event that have transpired here. We [also owe] it to the people who [are] spending for this public event, to be their eyewitness to the Games and preserve this event in images not only for the present but for future generations.”

This is not the first time that PHISGOC has encountered logistical problems with media outlets. Previous incidents regarding media accreditation and mistakes in media IDs have been going viral over the internet the past few weeks. Photos of a threadbare makeshift press room have also circulated social media sites. Negative headlines about the SEA Games’ other logistical problems have also led to PHISGOC and Cayetano’s willingness to file for cyber libel against media outlets who according to them, continue to propagate “negative” news about the Games.

The open letter recognizes that the number of photographers can become a logistical challenge, however, they appeal to PHISGOC “to reconsider this decision by consulting with representatives of accredited photographers and arriving at an orderly way of “pooling” from accredited members of the local and foreign media, which has always been adopted in similar events like this.”



Header photo courtesy of Tristan Tamayo on

Get more stories like this by subscribing to our weekly newsletter here.

Read more:

The biggest losers in this SEA Games mess? The Filipino athletes

The 2019 #SEAGamesFail is an accurate depiction of Filipino hospitality

The Aeta displacement was the first red flag to all of this #SEAGamesfail


TAGS: opening ceremonies PHISGOC Photographers sea games