Labor chief urges OFWs to always safeguard their luggage
Safeguard your belongings.
This was the advice given by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz to OFWs following reports of unscrupulous airport personnel engaged in the "laglag bala" or "tanim bala" extortion racket.
In a statement Tuesday, Baldoz said the best way to avoid getting victimized in such a scheme is for passengers to be always watchful of their luggage. She said they should not let anybody touch their luggage.
"I urge airline passengers, OFWs particularly, to be alert, careful, and vigilant with regards their luggage," she said.
Baldoz added that OFWs "should hold on to their luggage, or be very close, never away from these, while these are being checked, and report any suspicious activity or movement of airport personnel handling their luggage."
"Don’t leave your luggage. Don’t keep them away from your view. Better still, inventory the contents of your luggage before you leave for the airport and keep this inventory with you. Show them to the authorities if necessary before they check or screen your luggage," she said.
She also expressed disappointment over the such schemes, noting that the incidents could sow fear among OFWs, especially those planning to come home for a vacation in the coming holidays.
At the same time, Baldoz instructed the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, which has physical presence in the country’s airports, to be also vigilant and assist OFWs exiting and entering the country.
President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to conduct an investigation into the "laglag-bala" extortion scheme. —KBK, GMA News