January 31, 2023

The city government of Baguio has revived its plan to promote digital payments at the public market this time to comply with a memorandum circular issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Through the Paleng-QR Ph” program, the BSP and DILG aim to spread digital payment in areas where cash transactions mostly take place – at flea markets and public transportation.

The program enjoins local government units to push for the acceptance of digital payments among market vendors, community shopkeepers, and tricycle operators and drivers in all cities and municipalities in the country.

Baguio is the first local government in the country to launch the Paleng-QR on Aug. 14.

In the joint memorandum circular issued June 21, LGUs are expected to issue policies and ordinances to incentivize or mandate the use of QR Ph digital payment by market vendors, tricycles and other merchants.

LGUs will also coordinate with financial service providers (FSP) that have QR Ph capabilities to provide customer assistance booths.

Maya is the first FSP to partner with the city government.

The DILG and BSP on the other hand, will provide technical assistance to the LGUs on digital payments and financial literacy. They are also expected to help raise awareness about the Paleng-QR Ph program. The city government has first attempted to go cashless at the city market in partnership with SquidPay but reception to the plan was lukewarm as transactions at the market is still predominantly in cash. – Rimaliza A. Opiña

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