DAVAO CITY – At least 200 indigent Filipino Muslims would be able to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca next year with a similar number of sponsored slots being offered by the government, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) said on Thursday.
Dimapuno Datu Ramos Jr., the head of the NCMF’s Bureau of External Relations, said the sponsorship is “as promised by President Rodrigo Duterte during the Eid’l Fitr Dinner in Davao City held early this year.”
He said the NCMF, under Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan, had set eligibility criteria to make sure that only indigents would be included on the list.
Datu Ramos said those who want to apply should first secure a certification from the Department of Social Welfare and Development that they are indeed financially incapable of performing the hajj on their own.
Applicants should also be at least 50 years old, who had never performed the hajj – one of the five pillars of Islam; physically and mentally fit as certified by a licensed physician or the NCMF medical officer; and a devoted Muslim as certified by the local mufti or recognized Imam or sheik.
Datu Ramos said applicants should also ensure that they have valid passports.
“The deadline for submission of required documents to the respective NCMF office of the applicant’s residence is on Jan. 6, 2020. A raffle to determine the final list may be done in the NCMF Central Office,” he added. (PNA)
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