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Hajj contract signed for 8,000

The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) is stepping up its preparations for the 2014 hajj after it signed a contract with a Saudi Arabia group for 8,000 pilgrims from the Philippines.

NCMF Secretary Bai Yasmin Busran-Lao signed the contract for Filipino pilgrims’ housing or accommodation with representatives of Al Rayah Hotels.

For the first time ever, and in the spirit of transparency, the contract signing was done in the Philippines, at the NCMF in Quezon City.

The NCMF has also requested a quota of 8,000 pilgrims from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj, subject to the 20 percent quota reduction now being implemented for every country sending pilgrims.

Present at the signing on May 9 from the Al Rayah Hotels, this year’s hajj service provider for the Philippines, were general manager Faizal Mohamad Arishi, Ahmed Kalil and its representative in the Philippines, Sohailey Pandapatan.

The hajj or pilgrimage is the fifth pillar of Islam, which every adult Muslim – man or woman – ought to perform as a matter of obligation.