BSP, DILG pilots Paleng-QR Ph program

Published June 24, 2022, 12:35 AM

by Lee C. Chipongian

The government is ready to implement the Paleng-QR PH program to onboard market vendors and tricycle drivers via the digital platform.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has signed the joint memorandum circular with the Department of Interior Local Government (DILG) last June 21 to carry out the new QR Ph program in select local government units (LGUs).

The pilot LGUs to be identified by the DILG, will implement the Paleng-QR Ph in public markets and tricycle hubs to “build a digital ecosystem along the basic payment patterns of Filipinos, bolster the value of transaction accounts, and aid in the promotion and adoption of these accounts.” The main objective is to promote account ownership via QR Ph which is the national QR code standard that allows transfers between participating banks and e-wallets using the quick response or QR technology.

“The Paleng-QR Ph program underscores our firm belief that financial inclusion is a whole-of-nation undertaking and highlights the particularly crucial role of the local government units,” BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said. “By promoting QR Ph digital payments in all public markets and local transportation hubs across the country, the program aims to bring the welfare-enhancing benefits of digital finance innovations to our micro- and small entrepreneurs, as well as the communities they serve,” he added.

For his part, DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año is urging LGUs to take advantage of the Paleng-QR Ph program for a safer and more effective financial transactions.

“This ceremonial launching signals the start of our duty to disseminate this transformative initiative to our kababayans at the grassroots level as well as the private sector who will directly benefit from these guidelines,” Año said, adding that that “this initiative is yet another example of the remarkable things we can achieve when we all come together as one united Philippines.”

The BSP said the Paleng-QR Ph program will further increase cashless payments in public markets and local transportation.

Basically, LGUs will help BSP in onboarding the targeted users to have transaction accounts and achieve its objective of getting 70 percent of Filipino adults with formal accounts by next year. To do this, LGUs will have promotions such as an “account opening day” with QR Ph-enabled financial service providers (FSPs).

“Participating FSPs are expected to, among others, provide customer assistance booths, including QR code printouts, during the conduct of the ‘account opening day(s)’ by the LGUs. An LGU may partner with as many FSPs as deemed appropriate,” said the BSP.

The BSP and DILG developed the Paleng-QR Ph program based on a BSP note inspired by University of the Philippines-Los Baños students who were finalists in a competition during the BSP Youth Summit in 2021.

The BSP said the Paleng-QR Ph will benefit market vendors, sari-sari stores, and tricycle drivers with: financial inclusion; for better client experience; and reduced risk of getting paid in counterfeits and theft.

“Market vendors and tricycle drivers will get support in opening a transaction account which will allow them not only to use digital payments, but also other formal financial services suited to their needs and capabilities, including credit, insurance, and investment,” said the BSP.

Meantime, the BSP said market vendors and tricycle drivers “who accept QR Ph payments can meet the needs of their digital savvy customers who prefer to use digital over cash for convenience and health reasons and be able to enjoy the conveniences of going digital at the same time.”

In addition, digital payments will also lower risks of theft and counterfeit bills often faced by market vendors and tricycle drivers, said the BSP.