Davao City has launched an inclusive, digital cashless payment system in a local public market. The city referred to as the Crown Jewel of Mindanao has adopted Paleng-QR Ph, a joint initiative of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) that enables and promotes the use of digital payments in public markets and public transportation services using the QR Ph technology, the national standard for quick response codes.
Held at Davao City’s Bankerohan Public Market, the launch was attended by city officials led by Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, BSP officials led by Governor Felipe M. Medalla, and officers of DILG, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and the Department of Trade and Industry,
“I’m honored to be here today as we launch the Paleng-QR Ph program in Davao City, which will hopefully be the launchpad [to expand cashless payments] for the rest of Mindanao. We have to start where the chances of success are greatest,” said BSP Governor Medalla in his message.
In line with Davao City’s commitment to lead digitalization efforts in the region, Mayor Duterte, speaking in Visayan, said that “going digital” is part of the city’s modernization journey and encouraged Davaoeños to use cashless payment options in day-to-day market transactions. He asked his constituents to try the PalengQR-Ph system, and to spread the word and tell their neighbors how going digital is easy and convenient. The mayor advised parents to ask their kids for help in opening digital transaction accounts, if needed.
Also present at the market launch were BSP Monetary Board Members Antonio S. Abacan Jr., V. Bruce J. Tolentino, Anita Linda R. Aquino (who hails from this city), and Eli M. Remolona Jr. The Monetary Board held their regular meeting that week in the BSP Mindanao Regional Office located in Davao City.
BSP Deputy Governor Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, who leads the nationwide Paleng-QR Ph program, expressed appreciation as well for the Local Government Unit’s support to the program. BSP Deputy Governor Mamerto E. Tangonan, Senior Assistant Governors Iluminada T. Sicat, Edna C. Villa, and Elmore O. Capule, and other key BSP officials from various parts of the country were also in attendance.
They were joined by Davao City Vice Mayor Jay Melchor B. Quitain, Jr. and Davao City Councilors Bernie Al-ag, chairperson for Committee on trade, commerce, and industry; Bonz Andre A. Militar; Myrna G. L’Dalodo-Ortiz; and Al Ryan Alejandre.
Davao City is the second local government unit (LGU) to formally launch the Paleng-QR Ph program following Baguio City last August 2022.
Recognizing that public market purchases and transportation fares are part of most Filipinos’ everyday lives, Paleng-QR Ph aims to make digital finance more accessible to a wider and more inclusive sector of society. “Nakakatulong sa akin ‘to dahil kung wala akong [QR code], wala akong benta. Kasi iyong ibang tao hindi na nagdadala ng cash,” said Marilou Dinampo, one of the vendors at the Bankerohan Public Market.
Several financial service providers were also present to provide customer assistance booths and to assist market vendors and public utility vehicle drivers in opening transaction accounts and printing quick response codes.
Together with the BSP, Davao City said that it plans to conduct Paleng-QR Ph onboarding activities, such as public information campaigns on digital financial literacy and cybersecurity, to encourage vendors from the city’s other public and private markets to adopt cashless payments.
The BSP remains committed to supporting LGUs for the successful nationwide implementation of the Paleng-QR Ph program, in line with its goal of building an efficient and safe digital payments ecosystem in the country.