Local government units (LGUs) in the Visayas are all set to implement the Paleng-QR PH program of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), together with fintech provider, GCash.
Paleng-QR PH aims to build a digital payments ecosystem by promoting cashless payment in public markets, sari-sari stores, and public transportation, specifically, tricycles. It brings digital finance to micro and small entrepreneurs and the communities they serve.
Tagbilaran City Councilor Charles Cabalit noted that Paleng-QR PH is not only timely but very relevant.
“The city government of Tagbilaran acknowledges that it is in the best interest of the public to adopt the Paleng-QR PH program through the efforts of the BSP and the DILG in the hopes of driving financial inclusion and digitalization of payment,” he said. “Paleng-QR PH introduced us to one of the leading financial providers, GCash. We also encourage all financial service providers to participate in the program.”
Cabalit was a speaker at the recent GCash One With the Nation Forum in Cebu which carried the theme “Innovations and inclusion: The future of digital financial services”. It was attended by BSP, DILG, and LGU representatives.
To ensure the program’s effective implementation, he said the LGU has reached out to all local stakeholders and made sure that there is reliable internet and data connectivity in the city, particularly in public markets and tricycle terminals.
Cabalit has sponsored the passage of ordinance C-339, which enjoins all business establishments and local transportation in Tagbilaran City to adopt QRPH digital payment in line with the Paleng-QR PH program.
“As soon as the Paleng-QR PH program is launched in our locality, we can say we are stepping ahead and we are getting closer to our dream of transforming Tagbilaran City into a digital city,” he concluded.
During the event, Visayan LGUs also pledged their commitment to the program before BSP Head of Regional Economic Affairs Staff Gregg Bacay. The LGUs are expected to help the BSP achieve its objective of getting 70 percent of Filipino adults to have formal accounts.
Meanwhile, DILG Assistant Director Alfonso Maralle Jr. pointed out that initiatives like Paleng-QR PH become more effective when the government works with the private sector.
“We would like to express our appreciation to GCash for making the DILG part of this event which promotes and advocates financial inclusion for Filipinos. Hindi po kaya ng government lang. We have proven many times that public-private sector collaboration moves us forward toward this endeavor. There are so many remarkable things we can achieve when we all come together with the private sector and other stakeholders,” he stressed.
Maralle continued, “We have entered the age of innovation and this is something that we should face together as a country. Adapting to the fast pace world of digital transformation takes the resources, time, and expertise of various stakeholders. We hope that as we move forward, there are more local government units that will take that step toward the future of digital financial service in the country.”
For Filipinos, financial inclusion means that everyone has effective access to a wide range of financial products and services, such as savings, credit, payments, insurance, remittances, and even investments. These are among the things that GCash provides to advance its vision of “finance for all.”
“We work for a future where financial services are accessible to everyone, most especially the unbanked and underserved. GCash leads the way in ensuring that everyday Filipinos have financial opportunities which have previously been unavailable to them. But there’s still so much more we can do to make Filipinos’ everyday lives better, especially those who need our help the most,” said Martha Sazon, GCash President and CEO.
Even before Paleng-QR PH, GCash has been helping vendors and drivers with its various services. Egg vendor Junar Cabuenas and tricycle driver Rotchel Kuyoka, both from Lapu-Lapu City, are among those who benefitted from GCash.
“In the past, I always give the wrong change but when I started using GCash, now it’s a lot better. GCash is very useful to me. Like when someone places an order, they just pay me through GCash so it’s not too much of a hassle. It’s so easy,” said Cabuenas.
“Before, if I don’t prepare any change, my passenger and I worry since it’s difficult to find change. GCash helped me a lot. My business is smooth because of GCash since I don’t have to give change. They pay directly to my GCash account,” shared Kuyoka.
GCash hosted the regional expansion of One With the Nation for the first time to explore how the private and public sectors in VisMin can work together to foster economic growth through digital ecosystem development, especially in a post-COVID landscape.*