ILOILO CITY—A group of business operators on Boracay Island has lamented the “tanim-bala” racket at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), warning of a severe impact on the country’s tourism industry.
The Boracay Foundation Inc. also urged the government to quickly resolve the controversy to assure travelers of the safety of the country’s airports.
“It has become an international embarrassment. People, especially those who want to go to the Philippines, are asking what’s happening at Naia,” Nenette Aguirre-Graf, the group’s vice president for external affairs, told the Inquirer.
The series of incidents of tanim-bala has drawn international attention, especially online.
The scheme involves the planting of bullets allegedly by airport staff into the bags of airline passengers who are then asked for money in exchange for the dropping or nonfiling of charges.
Graf said promotional and marketing efforts to attract more tourists to the country would be put to waste if the racket continued.
“We have been continuously sending marketing teams to Europe and other countries just to promote Boracay and the Philippines. And just like that, this happens,” she said.
She said the government should investigate and crack down on airport personnel involved in the racket to allay concerns of travelers including tourists.



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