Photographed by Jerold Villacorta Gutierrez
Porters at the NAIA Airport. Picture from
Porters at the NAIA Airport. Photo from

The recent bullet-scam (laglag bala scam) that is conducted by corrupt airport employees have caused negative impact to the Philippines and its tourism sector.

The laglag-bala or bullet scam is a scheme conducted by corrupt airport employees who secretly put a bullet inside the luggage of unsuspecting passengers and then later extort money from the unlucky victims.

The National Bureau of Investigation is still conducting investigation under the direct order of President Benigno Aquino III.

As they continuously investigate, The NBI discovered more scams through their inside sources in NAIA.

Here are some of them:

  1. Airline desk who makes you pay more luggage fee by making your luggage appear overweight by not resetting weighing machines after the previous item.
  2. Scammer who ask for help or offering to help you in some ways so they can later extort money from you. Never entertain strangers!
  3. Airport porters who will gang up to pressure you asking for excessive tips beyond the standard rates.
  4. NAIA officers who are conducting illicit money exchange schemes inside the airport.
  5. Immigration officers who will purposely question your travel documents to delay you until you offer them bribes.
  6. Airport porters who purposely open your luggage to steal valuable items such as jewelry and gadgets. Always check your belongings before living the airport.
  7. Taxi scams
    • These taxi drivers will offer low fares by not using the taxi meter. Then while on the way to your destination they will stop in a dark part of the city and pretend that there is something wrong with the car. Then they will demand money from the victim. You will not be able to get out of the taxi or call for help since the doors and windows are broken.
    • There will be uniformed men asking if you need a cab and they will take you to the a room. They even have receipts, a sign board with prices for different destinations. However, you will be overcharged and you will be taken to an unmarked car. Some people say the signboard has prices in US dollars.

Quick tips when riding a Taxi in the Philippines:

  • Check the back seat and front seat to make sure that no-one is hiding on the floor.
  • Check the doors can be locked from the inside.
  • Check the doors if it can be opened from the inside and the windows should be working.
  • Ask the driver to use the meter.
  • Take note of the license plate number.
  • Once in the taxi conspicuously text the number of the taxi to someone.

Don’t be a victim, be vigilant and alert. Please share this to your friends and families.

See also: Laglag-Bala Scam Gains International Attention

Summary of the Rights of Air Passengers

Air passenger's rights

This image is downloaded from the official website of the Republic of the Philippines.