Bacolod City officially launched the Paleng-QR Ph Plus at the Libertad Public Market on Tuesday, 14 March, drawing the participation of over 1,800 market vendors and 1,100 public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers to accept digital payments. Through the program, customers can pay for goods and services by using their smartphones to scan merchants’ and PUV drivers’ QR codes.
The launch was led by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo B. Benitez, City Councilor Celia Matea R. Flor, and financial service providers who assisted program participants in opening transaction accounts and printing QR codes.
BSP Governor Felipe M. Medalla, in a video message, welcomed the city’s efforts to introduce more Bacolodnons to the benefits of owning a transaction account. “We appreciate your help in championing the country’s financial inclusion agenda. We are excited to witness the rollout of Paleng-QR Ph Plus in your city and look forward to working with you to improve the day-to-day palengke and commuting experience of your constituents,” the Governor said.
Prior to the event, the BSP and the Bacolod City Government conducted financial literacy sessions on account onboarding and digital payments for market vendors and PUV drivers.
Bacolod is the third local government unit in the Visayas and the seventh in the Philippines to officially launch Paleng-QR Ph Plus after Baguio, Davao, Tagbilaran, Naga, Lapu-Lapu, and Pasig. According to the Bacolod City Government, 1,889 or 78 percent of registered market vendors and 1,158 or 59 percent of transport drivers in the city are already onboarded to the Paleng-QR Ph Plus as of end-February 2023.
The BSP and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) are supporting the wide adoption of Paleng-QR Ph Plus in cities and municipalities all over the country to encourage the convenient, safe, and efficient use of quick response (QR) technology in making day-to-day payments.
The nationwide implementation of Paleng-QR Ph Plus is in line with the BSP’s Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap 2020-2023, which aims to transform half of the volume of retail payments in the country into digital form and onboard 70 percent of Filipino adults to the formal financial system by this year.
Meanwhile, the BSP also conducted its Piso Caravan on the sidelines of the program launch to allow Bacolodnons to exchange their unfit banknotes and coins with fresh bills and digital cash. This is in support of the BSP’s Clean Note and Coin Policy, as well as its Coin Recirculation Program.
Unfit banknotes are dirty, soiled, limp, stained, or have faded print and obvious writings. Meanwhile, unfit coins are those with corrosion or markings.
More information on the Paleng-QR Ph Plus program can be accessed via this link: https://bit.ly/PQPP_FAQs_E. For details on the Piso Caravan and other public information campaigns in the Visayas, please contact the BSP Visayas Regional Office at telephone no. (032) 254-9368 or email address AOville@bsp.gov.ph.