June 21, 2024

The city council has approved Ordinance 72, s. 2022 which created the Baguio City Information and Communications Technology Council (BCICTC).
The ordinance will enable the city achieve its goal to become a smart, livable and resilient city through digital governance.
The BCICTC shall assist and help the city government and its leaders for the furtherance of essential public services and speedy government action through information and communications technology, a recognized economic driver and tool for better governance.
Goals of the ICT Council are the promotion of ICT or digital literacy among locals for them to fully participate in an evolving technology-driven age and appreciate the purpose and direction of digital governance; To assist the city into its digitization initiatives like the rationalization of the Baguio In My Pocket, adoption of e-governance system, QR coding and others for responsive governance and improved revenue generation.
Promotion of the use of ICT to enhance the delivery of public services, which includes conduct of digital orientation and education on all ICT related programs and activities of the city; and to foster close ties with other entities, cities and areas that already have their established ICT Council or other institutionalized bodies that carry the same purpose for socioeconomic growth; and to assist the city in establishing a state-of-the-art digital technology center to be funded or co-funded and managed by the LGU in collaboration with concerned government agencies.
The council will be headed by the mayor, the committee chair on education as co-chair, and the Management Information Technology Division head as action officer.
Its members are the chair of the city council committee on public utilities; the city planning and development coordinator; the city budget officer; the public information officer, representatives of the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; from private and public higher education institutions; ICT sector (telcos, business process outsourcing companies, Internet service providers and power providers); City Library, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, National Economic and Development Authority, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and an organized ICT professional group.
For the implementation of the ordinance, P1.5 million will be allocated each year and included in the annual budget of the Mayor’s Office.
The city council also approved Ordinance 71, s. 2022 or the “Paleng-QR Ph Program” enjoining all business establishments and local public transportation in Baguio to adopt QRPh digital payments.
The ordinance complies with the national government’s call for the promotion of financial inclusion and cash-lite transactions at public markets, community stores, and local transportation hubs around the country.
In Memorandum Circular 01 s. 2022 of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas last June 22, local government units are enjoined to adopt and implement the Paleng-QR Ph Program as means of promoting digital payments among market vendors, sari-sari store owners, local public transport drivers, consumers and commuters.
The ordinance directs or requires all public market vendors, public transport groups, sari-sari store owners, other local merchants such as ambulant vendors, and hawkers to make QR Ph payments available for their customers in line with the Paleng-QR Ph program.
The ordinance does not prohibit payment in cash when chosen or preferred by the patrons, consumers, buyers, passenger, or clients.
Public transportation, public market and business establishments, at their own discretion, may select their alternative mode of payment from any participating QR Ph-ready financial service provider in the city.
All business owners who provide QR PH as an alternative mode of payment shall be granted 2.5 percent discount on their business tax on the first year of adoption.