Let private sector handle Hajj coordination, says lawmaker
MANILA, Philippines — The coordination and management of the Hajj pilgrimage — a sacred pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in the Islamic faith — should be transferred to a private firm from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman said on Monday.
Hataman, in a statement, reasoned out that the yearly pilgrimage of thousands of Filipinos to Mecca has been riddled with issues like pilgrims’ flights being delayed or Muslims encountering various obstacles just to fulfill their religious duties.
Making the trip to Mecca for the Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and is required for Muslims to do so at least once in their lives.
“Every year, hundreds, if not thousands of Filipino Muslims are part of the news cycle about hajj pilgrims who are stranded or who encountered extreme difficulties just to make their pilgrimage, because of the poor service from the NCMF. Maybe it’s time to consider handing the management to the private sector,” Hataman said in Filipino.
“The yearly pilgrimage to the Holy City of Makkah in Saudi Arabia is one of the sacred pillars of the Islamic faith. Our fellow Filipino Muslims save money for that because they will be blessed if they are able to do that once in their lives. But instead of a meaningful experience, they face hardships and difficulties,” he added.
According to Hataman, he has filed House Bill No. 9096 or the proposed NCMF Reform Act of 2023, which, if enacted, will amend Republic Act No. 9997 to remove the hajj administration from the NCMF. (with reports from Jezvette Kyelle Mapagdalita, INQUIRER.net trainee)