KSA limits Hajj 2020 to citizens and expatriates residing in the Kingdom: NCMF

The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) announced on Thursday (June 25) that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia limits this year’s pilgrimage to Saudi citizens and expatriates living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
“Saudi Ambassador Abdullah N.A. Al Bussairy confirmed to NCMF Secretary Saidamen B. Pangarungan the Decision of the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to limit this year's Pilgrimage to Saudi citizens and expatriates residing in the Kingdom,” the NCMF stated in an advisory.

Pangarungan learned on Thursday the decision of Saudi government’s on Hajj 2020 restriction in a meeting with Al Bussairy held at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Makati.

“The Saudi Ambassador explained that the decision was reached ‘to ensure that the hajj ritual is conducted in a healthy and safe maner and that it meets the requirements for the prevention and social distancing necessary for the safety of the pilgrims, and to protect them from the dangers of the Coronavirus [COVID-19]’,” the statement read.

The NCMF Secretary expressed the primordial objectives of the Philippines and KSA in fighting the virus globally and supporting the efforts of health organizations in limiting the spread of COVID-19.

Performing Hajj to Makkah once in a lifetime is one of the five pillars of Islam. This is obligatory to able-bodied male and female Muslims who have the financial capacity to pay the pilgrimage expenses. Pilgrims should prepare approximately P250,000 to perform hajj.

Every year, more than two million Muslim citizens from different countries visit the Kingdom to perform the annual religious rites. 
For a devout Muslim, performing hajj is a big fulfilment, the completion of the fifth pillar of Islam.

The NCMF facilitates the pilgrimage, both Hajj and Umrah, of Filipino Muslims. Last year, over 7,000 Filipino Muslims joined the annual Hajj.