The “Laglag Bala” scam at NAIA has officially gone nuclear, with the story hitting the front page of Reddit, carrying it to a global audience. Can Filipino Redditors help with damage limitation?
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you will probably have heard of Reddit, the self-proclaimed “frontpage of the internet”. This massive user-powered news aggregator has over 200 million visitors a month and is often used by news agencies all around the world as convenient source for new stories. At the time of writing, the story about the bullet planting scam at Manila’s international airport is in second place on the front page, the most prominent location for the most talked about stories from all around the world.
This is immensely bad news for the airport, the government, and the country as a whole. You only have to read some of the comments to see the damage the unscrupulous individuals behind this scam are doing to tourism and the country’s reputation. Countless global news outlets will now pick this story up and feature it as well, leading to millions more reading about it.
While this is bad news, it at least leaves an opportunity to comment and defend the reputation of the country as a whole. Knowing that many WhenInManila readers are also avid Redditors, I would hereby like to call on your help to take to the site and comment on the story. The corrupt and criminal elements at NAIA are not representative of the country as a whole and there is a real need to point this out to the many readers seeing this story on Reddit at the moment.
The reason I would ask any Redditors amongst you to take to your keyboards and comment is not to defend the inactive airport management, the slow acting government, or the criminals doing this scam. No, it is to protect the people who will suffer as a result of this story hitting the global headlines. The small hotels and tourism businesses who will suffer financially if fewer visitors arrive in the country. The employees who may find themselves out of a job if tourists decide to stay away because some despicable individuals are lining their pockets with this scam. The many other sectors linked to visitor numbers, and not at least the global reputation of the Philippines as a whole.
Where the government has once again failed, netizens can try and carry out damage limitation. I’m not even from the Philippines, but I’m posting on Reddit about it because I know that this scam and the criminals behind it are not representative of the country as a whole. The Philippines I got to know and love is better than this, and it’s time to show that: