“Qd ,IUN THIRTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE REPUBLI OF THE PHILIPPINES First Regular Session . ’ i d , , . Mrr.?- ..<*..Ti S. No. Introduced by Senator S. R. Osmeiia 111 EXPLANATORY NOTE Hajj or Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the pillars of Islam and is thus a fundamental duty of all able-bodied Muslims worldwide. This bill proposes to explicitly define the mandate of the Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA), particularly in the administration of the annual Hajj. This will benefit Fi.lipino Muslims joining future Hajj who will be assured of efficient administrative support services from OMA especially with the establishment of regional and provincial Hajj coordinating units. The bill likewise allows Muslim pilgrims to choose their preferred travel agencies and airlines, a reverse of the current practice of OMA imposing on the pilgrims to avail of the services of only three (3) accredited travel agencies and the Philippine Airlines and Saudi Air. With this liberalized policy, travel agencies and airlines will thus compete to offer the lowest cost and attendant amenities to travelling pilgrims. The pilgrims will thus be afforded the opportunity to perform their Hajj at cheaper cost. In view of the foregoing, the early passage of this bill is earnestly sought. SERGIO O S M E ~ ~i i A i Senator

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