In an effort to address the growing issue of bomb jokes at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, government agencies and airlines have come together to launch an information drive. The Philippine National Police – Aviation Security Group (Avsegroup), local airlines, and the Civil Aeronautics Board have collectively discussed and agreed upon conducting a massive information dissemination campaign to remind travelers about the seriousness of making bomb threats or bomb jokes while in airport terminals or onboard an aircraft.
The Avsegroup, whose primary concern is to prevent acts of unlawful interference, reported that there were eight instances of bomb jokes last year. Unfortunately, this trend has continued into the new year, with three bomb joke incidents already occurring in various airport locations, including in the provinces.
Steve Dailisan, the Communication and Public Affairs head of AirAsia Philippines, emphasized that there is no excuse for cracking a bomb joke on the ground or in flight. Such jokes immediately raise alarm among personnel and can cause discomfort among other passengers. Dailisan also pointed out that bomb jokes can not only cause trouble but may also traumatize first-time travelers, further highlighting the negative impact of such irresponsible behavior.
Police authorities have expressed their concern regarding the consequences of bomb jokes, including flight delays and disruptions to the regular operation of incoming and outgoing planes. They strongly encourage the public to exercise responsible behavior and refrain from communicating false information, whether in person or through digital platforms, that may pose an actual threat to the nation’s security.
It is important to note that making bomb jokes is not only socially unacceptable but also carries legal consequences. Authorities have stated that they will take a firm stance against such intolerable behavior due to the potentially grave consequences it can lead to. Any individual found circulating hoax warnings through email and text messages can be held criminally liable for the willful dissemination of false information, which is punishable by law.
Furthermore, jokes about carrying bombs while in the airport or onboard an aircraft are taken seriously by the airlines. Anyone cracking such jokes will be denied carriage, ensuring that the safety and security of all passengers are prioritized.
Violators of Presidential Decree 1727, which addresses the issue of bomb jokes, may face imprisonment of up to five years or a fine of up to P40,000, or both, at the discretion of the court. This underscores the seriousness with which the authorities approach this matter, as they aim to maintain public order and safety.
In conclusion, the information drive launched by government agencies and airlines at NAIA serves as a reminder to travelers about the severe consequences of making bomb jokes. Not only do bomb jokes disrupt the smooth operation of airports and flights, but they can also cause distress and anxiety among passengers. It is crucial for everyone to exercise responsible behavior and refrain from engaging in such inappropriate and potentially harmful actions. Let us all work together to ensure the safety and security of our airports and flights.
Source: The Manila Times