MANILA, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- To ensure that many Filipinos will enjoy the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, the organizers of the biennial meet announced on Friday that most of the 56 sports events and the closing ceremony will be opened for the public for free.
Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) Chairperson and Philippine House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said the committee's decision came in the wake of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's instruction to make sure that all Filipinos can watch the live games.
"The instructions of (Duterte) to make sure that all Filipinos that want to watch live and can be physically present during games, the organizing committee has decided that all games that are still not sold out will be opened to the public for free," Cayetano told reporters.
According to Cayetano, with the exception of basketball, football, and volleyball - tickets to which have already been sold - all other sporting events in the regional meet will be free and open to the public.
Meanwhile, 25,000 tickets for the SEA Games closing ceremony will be released to the public.
"As of today, upon (Duterte's) instructions, we will release 10,000 tickets to the public (for the closing ceremony) on December 11," he said.
Another 15,000 tickets for the closing ceremony will be given out to volunteers, he added.
The PHISGOC said this year's SEA Games is the biggest yet as it features 56 sports and 543 events spread across 39 venues in different cities in the northern Philippines.
Over 10,000 athletes and coaches from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Singapore, and Vietnam will participate in the biennial sports meet, the organizers said.