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The Philippines: Local Government Adopts Paleng-QR Ph Plus

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The City of Alaminos in Pangasinan, Philippines has recently embraced the Paleng-QR Ph Plus programme. This initiative, a collaboration between the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), aims to revolutionise digital payments in public markets, public utility vehicles (PUVs), and various business establishments.

Mayor Arth Bryan C Celeste, alongside Regional Director Noel Neil Q Malimban of BSP North Luzon Regional Office (NLRO), spearheaded the launch of Paleng-QR Ph Plus at the bustling SUKI Market in December 2023.

The programme promotes the use of Quick Response (QR) Ph, the national standard for QR code technology, offering a secure, convenient, and efficient method for both merchants and customers to make and receive payments.

Alaminos City has seen an impressive response to the Paleng-QR Ph Plus programme, with nearly 700 market vendors and over 3,600 tricycle drivers already on board. The city’s proactive approach includes the issuance of an ordinance encouraging digital payments, signalling a potential surge in the programme’s adoption among more vendors and PUV drivers.

This initiative aligns with the BSP’s overarching goal of converting 50% of the total volume of retail payments in the country into digital transactions. Additionally, the BSP aims to onboard 70% of Filipinos into the formal financial system by the end of this year, as outlined in the Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap 2020-2023.

Paleng-QR Ph Plus stands out as a priority programme under the BSP’s National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI) 2022-2028, a comprehensive framework guiding all stakeholders in accelerating financial inclusion throughout the country. By encouraging the use of modern payment methods, Alaminos City is not only keeping pace with national initiatives but also spearheading change at the local level.

Beyond the launch of Paleng-QR Ph Plus, the BSP Dagupan Branch seized the opportunity to further promote financial inclusion. The “BSP Piso Caravan” currency exchange programme, conducted on the sidelines of the Paleng-QR Ph Plus launch, aimed to encourage the public to replace unfit banknotes and coins with digital cash.

The BSP’s commitment to preserving the integrity of the Philippine currency was evident in its effort to exchange unfit banknotes and coins, which are often dirty, soiled, limp, stained, or feature faded prints and writings. The move towards digital payments not only addresses the challenges posed by unfit physical currency but also aligns with global trends promoting a cashless society.

Alaminos City’s enthusiastic adoption of Paleng-QR Ph Plus, coupled with the BSP’s currency exchange initiative, signals a promising shift towards a more digitally inclusive and efficient financial landscape. As the city continues to lead by example, embracing technological advancements in payments, it sets a precedent for other localities to follow suit, ushering in a new era of convenience, security, and financial inclusion.

The adoption of digital payments promotes financial inclusion by offering accessible platforms for various socioeconomic groups. This not only bridges gaps in traditional banking services but also propels technological advancements and the growth of a digital economy.

Besides, the incentivising features of many digital payment platforms, such as cashback and rewards programmes, contribute to user engagement and loyalty. Likewise, the environmental impact is reduced, as the shift towards digital payments lessens the demand for physical currency production, aligning with sustainability goals by decreasing reliance on paper and metal resources.


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