June 20, 2024

Baguio City is being eyed as pilot site for the “Paleng-QR Ph” program of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Department of the Interior and Local Government promoting cashless payments in public markets and local transportation.

 The BSP officials led by Deputy Governor Berna Romulo-Puyat introduced the program to city officials led by Mayor Benjamin Magalong, councilors Isabelo Cosalan and Peter Fianza, City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias, and stakeholders from the city market in a preliminary consultation held July 13.

 Atty. Guiller Asido, Director Joyce Suficiencia, and Regional Director Noel Neil Malimban explained the program, which aims to create a digital payments ecosystem making use of existing financial service providers like G-Cash and Paymaya to facilitate cashless transactions between merchants and consumers.  

 Magalong expressed reception to the program being aligned with the city’s digital transformation aspiration.

 He said the program will help the city realize its goal of improving its collection system at the city market and stamping out fraudulent activities thereby increasing its revenue.

 On the part of the vendors, he said this will also benefit them in terms of speeding up payment and ensuring correctness in transactions.

 “Bibilis ang transactions.  ‘Di na kayo makukupitan, mamo-monitor na ang transactions at hindi n’yo na poproblemahin ang barya  Maiiwasan pa ang pagkahawa sa sakit na nakukuha sa paghawak ng pera. On the part of the city government, we will be able to resolve corruption that results to low revenue,” the mayor said as he appealed to vendors to be open to the program.

He assured the program will not be implemented without preparing the merchants to the new system and without addressing concerns on the prohibitive transaction fees that may be levied by the service providers.

“Tuturuan namin kayong mag-adapt sa process at hindi bibiglain. Uunahin muna ‘yung mga interesado.  Makikipag-ugnayan din kami sa mga service providers kung paano natin papagaanin ‘yung charges,” the mayor assured. – Aileen P. Refuerzo