Naga City launches Paleng-QR Ph Plus

Left photo shows Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Bernadette Romulo-Puyat (center) with Mayor Nelson S. Legacion (right) and Vice Mayor Cecilia Veluz-De Asis (left) at the launch of the Paleng-QR Ph Plus in Naga City. In the photo at the right, Deputy Governor Romulo-Puyat demonstrates how to use QR Ph to pay market vendor. With her are Mr. Ramon J. Florendo, Market Superintendent of Naga City People’s Mall and Head of Market Enterprise and Promotion Office, and some market vendors.

Naga City has joined the Paleng-QR Ph Plus program that enables public markets, transport terminals, and business establishments to accept digital payments for faster and easier transactions.

Spearheaded by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the program was launched last Friday, 10 February in ceremonies led by BSP Deputy Governor Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, with Naga City Mayor Nelson S. Legacion,  Vice Mayor Cecilia Veluz-De Asis, DILG City Director Ma. Hazel O. Deocareza and private sector partners.

Naga City is the first local government unit (LGU) in South Luzon and the fourth in the Philippines to launch the Paleng-QR Ph Plus program, following the cities of Baguio, Davao, and Tagbilaran.

BSP Governor Felipe M. Medalla, in a recorded message, welcomed Naga City’s participation to  Paleng-QR Ph Plus as it brings the benefits of owning digital transaction accounts to more Filipinos.

Deputy Governor Romulo-Puyat of the Regional Operations and Advocacy Sector lauded Naga City’s strong support for the BSP’s financial inclusion and digitalization agenda with the passage of  an ordinance that provides incentives to the adoption of quick response (QR) payments among business owners, vendors, and public transport operators.

“This will help widen the access of vendors and public utility drivers to our financial system through digital payments. As they get onboarded, this will grant them access to credit and financing from banks and formal lending institutions,” she said.

Mayor Legacion described the Paleng-QR Ph Plus program as a commendable initiative that aligns with Naga City’s vision of becoming a smart city by strengthening financial resilience and inclusion through the promotion of wide-scale ownership of e-wallet accounts. DILG City Director Deocareza expressed hope that “through the Paleng-QR Ph Plus program, every Filipino will have an effective access to a range of financial services and products.”

At the program launch, tricycle driver Marlon P. Bolante opened a transaction account to generate a QR Ph code.  He said: “Maganda ang QR Ph dahil mas madali sa pasahero, hindi na nila kailangang magpabarya. Kailangan na lang i-scan [ang QR Ph code] upang makapagbayad sila. Magagamit ko rin ang transaction account ko para makapagbayad ng bills.”

Also present at the program launch were City Councilor Jose Perez (Committee Chairman on Investment, Trade, Industry, and Economic Enterprises) City Councilor Lito Del Rosario (Principal Author of Paleng-QR Ph Plus Ordinance), and other members of the Naga City Sangguniang Panlungsod.

Partners from the financial sector also participated in the program launch by providing customer assistance booths, QR code printouts, and information materials to the public. The partner organizations include the Asia United Bank, Banco de Oro Network Bank, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Camalig Bank,, Development Bank of the Philippines, GCash, Landbank of the Philippines, Maya, Metrobank, Philippine National Bank, PSBank, Queenbank, Rural Bank of Guinobatan, Inc., and Veterans Bank.

The BSP-DILG partnership started in June 2022 with the signing of a joint memorandum circular on Paleng-QR Ph enjoining LGUs to promote  the acceptance of digital payments in markets and transportation hubs across the country.

Paleng-QR Ph Plus promotes QR technology as a convenient, safe, and efficient payment solution to build the collective financial resilience of more Filipinos and help them maximize economic opportunities through their inclusion in the formal financial system. The BSP continues to support LGUs in the implementation of the Paleng-QR Ph Plus program to expand digital payment acceptance and account ownership in the Philippines.