The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) have signed a joint memorandum circular (JMC) on the Paleng-QR Ph program, which promotes the acceptance of digital payments in the country’s public markets and tricycle hubs.
The circular, which aims to institutionalize and promote the implementation of the Paleng-QR Ph program by local government units (LGUs) across the country, was signed by DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año and BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno in a ceremony at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in Manila on 21 June 2022.
“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,” Governor Diokno said.
The Governor added, “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.”
In his message, Secretary Año urged LGUs to take advantage of the Paleng-QR Ph program to further augment their economic resurgence through safe and 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,” Secretary Año said.
The DILG Secretary emphasized, “This initiative is yet another example of the remarkable things we can achieve when we all come together as one united Philippines.”
The Paleng-QR Ph program aims to build the digital payments ecosystem in the country to promote cashless payments in public markets and local transportation by identifying the respective responsibilities of the BSP, the DILG, LGUs, and financial service providers (FSPs). In doing so, the program can further demonstrate the practical utility of owning a transaction account for the average Filipino consumer.
Under the program, LGUs are expected to assist the onboarding of target users to a transaction account, such as by organizing an “account opening day,” in coordination with FSPs who already have QR Ph capabilities.
QR Ph is the national QR code standard that allows transfers between participating banks and e-wallets in the Philippines.
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.
The DILG and BSP jointly developed the Paleng-QR Ph program based on the concept note prepared by the BSP, which in turn was inspired by student policy competition finalists from the University of the Philippines – Los Baños in last year’s BSP Youth Summit.