NCMF reports decrease in number of pilgrims PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 04 May 2017 13:35

By LIZA JOCSON

The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) has reported a decrease in the number of Hajj pilgrims this year due to difficulty in obtaining travel documents.

The difficulty is attributed to the suspension of the Hajj Lane, a lane at the  Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA ) offices passport section which was opened to process passports with a one year validity for hajj pilgrims.

National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Officer in Charge Atty Yasser Apion said that only 235 applicants for the Hajj have signified their serious intention to join the pilgrimage.

The number is considered low compared to about 1,500 pilgrims in Western Mindanao who joined the pilgrimage last year.

Meanwhile, Apion said that the government has opened a Special Lane at the DFA to help pilgrims in securing passports with regular validity.

Apion however doubts that the Special Lane will increase the number of pilgrims this year.

The Special Lane is said to process only 50 passports a day and will only be open until May twelve.  It only started operating yesterday. (Liza Jocson)