Thea Alberto-Masakayan, ABS-CBNnews.com
Posted at 10/30/15 6:20 PM
MANILA – Amid reports of victims of the “tanim-bala” scheme at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), some travelers have taken extra measures to outwit bullet scammers.
Protectabag [http://www.protectabag.com.ph/], a wrap-your-bag service provider at NAIA Terminals 1 and 2, has cited an increase in sales and inquiries in wake of news about customs and airport personnel opening balikbayan boxes as well as recent incidents of “tanim-bala.”
“Tumaas po ang dami ng nagpapabalot ng bag, dahil ‘yun sa awareness nung tao sa security,” said Joyce Carpiso, Protectabag Assistant General Manager.
Carpiso said that in the past, mostly foreign travelers, or workers flying to destinations with notorious airports availed of their services. Some clients, meanwhile, only wanted protection and waterproofing for various equipment.
But times are changing.
Carpiso said passengers are now willing to pay extra to secure their bags. In fact, their sales have increased by around 20 percent.
Protectabag charges P160 per luggage or item, regardless of size, said Carpiso. But if you want the item wrapped twice, you have to pay twice too.
In a related development, a Facebook post by Wilfredo Garrido showing “paranoid travellers” has gone viral.
Garrido said he took the photo Friday, around 2:00 p.m. while boarding for a flight to Cagayan de Oro.
“I was lining up at Cebu Pac counter. Not sure what flight they were taking but one looks like a foreigner,” said Garrido.
“There were several other random passengers with cling-wrapped luggage,” he added.
The “tanim bala” scam allegedly involves airport personnel who plant bullets in unsuspecting passengers’ luggage. Once the passengers are apprehended, scammers reportedly ask for money in exchange for their release and record-free passports.