MASIDING NOOR YAHYA
January 6, 2018
Muslim Filipinos will have a better experience this year (2019) in the performance of Hajj (Pilgrimage) to Makkah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Bureau of External Relations of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos said on Saturday that a team of NCMF officials led by Secretary Saidamen B. Pangarungan is in the Kingdom in preparation for the 2019 Hajj.
The delegation has sought the approval of the 8,000 visa quota for Filipino pilgrims and the use of a third airline company to be used by Filipino pilgrims in going to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj.
Previously, only Saudia Airlines and Philippine Airlines were allowed as transportation for the Filipino pilgrims. Stating that the Marawi Siege of 2017 affects the Filipino pilgrims’ financial capability, Pangarungan was able to convince Saudi authorities to allow another airline company with a lower airfare rate for use of Filipino pilgrims.
The NCMF delegation met the Minister of Hajj, H.E Mohammad Benten for the Hajj Conference.
Representatives from the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation ACA, United Agent Transportation, Naqaba and Adilla, protocol officers from the Foreign Affairs, and Moasasa, in charge of the food and tents in Mina Arafat, were also in attendance.
Earlier, the team met with Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Sharief Housnie.
Every Muslim who has reached the age of puberty, and financially and physically capable is obliged to perform Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah) at least once in his lifetime.
Depending on the visibility of the new moon, this year’s Hajj will commence on 8th August (7th Dhul Hijjah 1440H) and end 14th August (13th Dhul Hijjah 1440H) but pilgrims are arriving in the Kingdom earlier to be allowed entry as it is closed during the Hajj performance.
With Pangarungan were Dr. Dimapuno A. Datu-Ramos, Jr., director for the Bureau of External Relations and BAC Chairman; Atty. Rolando Abo, director for Legal Services; Mr. Zainoden Usudan, chief of Pilgrimage Operations; Ustadz Basher Tomilang, ArabicTranslator; Mr. Ahmad Balindong, Philippine Hajj Attaché. (MNY/RSP)