National government to launch cashless payment program in Baguio

National government to launch cashless payment program in Baguio

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Dept. of Interior and Local Government will launch the “Paleng-QR Ph” cashless payment program with Baguio City as pilot site on Aug. 14, 2022 at Malcolm Square.

BSP Governor Dr. Felipe Medalla and Deputy Governor Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and DILG Cordillera Regional Director Araceli San Jose are expected to grace the program with stakeholders including merchants at the city market and financial institutions and service provider companies.

Aimed at promoting the cashless system as an alternative method of transaction in public markets and local transportation, the program aims to create a digital payments ecosystem making use of existing financial service providers like G-Cash, Paymaya, banks and others to facilitate cashless transactions between merchants and consumers.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong welcomed the program saying it is aligned with the city’s own digitalization thrust and will help improve the city’s collection system, eliminate collection malpractices and will benefit the vendors in terms of speeding up payment and ensuring integrity in transactions.

The city council also expressed support to the program by passing a resolution that authorized the mayor to negotiate and enter into an agreement with the Globe Telecom and any other equally qualified online payment service providers for the adoption of additional or alternative mode of payment of taxes, fees and charges due to the local government subject to confirmation by the city council.

Under Resolution No. 301, series of 2022, members of the local legislative body pointed out that taking into consideration the urgent need to adopt online payments as a convenient and practical alternative in the payment of taxes, fees and charges to the local government, support will have to be provided to the said initiative.

The council said the confirmation of any agreement shall be based on shown advantages or justifications for the adoption of the service provider over others as may be presented in a comparative evaluation made for the said purpose.

The body admitted that online payment is one among the schemes to realize the speeding up of government processes and Smart City programs which are among the core agenda of the present administration to be pursued aggressively to be available for the public by the end of the year.

Currently, the local government is working with the Land Bank of the Philippines to integrate with their online payment system linkbiz portal to make Gcash, which is not yet available with the said bank portal, as a way of payment by the public to the city.

The council said that online payment is fast becoming a convenient, safe, reliable and honest way of paying obligations without unnecessary delays or inconveniences among others. – Aileen P. Refuerzo/Dexter A. See