BAGUIO CITY – The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance encouraging all business establishments and local transportation in the city to adopt QR PH digital payments in line with the Paleng-QR PH program.
The ordinance authored by Councilors Isabelo Cosalan, Jr., Arthur Alad-iw and Peter Fianza stated that the proposed measure shall cover all public market vendors and all stores and business establishments, including but not limited to, sari-sari stores, ambulant vendors and hawkers.
Further, all public market vendors, sari-sari store owners, other local merchants in the city are directed to make QR PH payments available for their customers, in line with the Paleng-QR PH program.
The ordinance stipulated that public transportation, public market and business establishments, at their own discretion, may select as their alternative mode of payment from any QR PH-ready financial service providers participating in the Paleng-QR PH program of the city, the list of institutions participating in QR PH will be readily available, provided, however that nothing shall prohibit payments in cash when, otherwise chosen by the patrons, consumers, buyers, passengers or clients.
The ordinance added that all business owners who shall provide QR PH as an alternative mode of payment shall be granted a 5 percent discount on all fees, licenses, permit and or taxes in connection with the establishment operation, and maintenance of the market stall subject to the rules and regulations set forth by the council for the first 3 years of the Paleng-QR PH program and grant of 5 percent discount on stall rental or rights in the first year of adoption.
However, the city government may recall such incentives and covered merchants will be asked to return the equivalent amount discounted once adoption of the program is discontinued.
According to the proposed ordinance, the City Permits and Licensing Division with the assistance of the market administration office were tasked to monitor the compliance of the establishments and stall owners to the said ordinance.
The ordinance underscored that it is the best interest of the public if businesses will adopt the Paleng-QR PH program within the city.
The ordinance defined financial inclusion as having effective access to a wide range of financial products and services by all Filipinos. Financial services such as savings account, payment, credit, and remittances are tools that can help Filipinos improve their welfare and achieve their goals for their household and enterprises.
On the other hand, account ownership is considered the gateway to financial inclusion. Through a formal account, one cannot only safely save money but also conveniently send and receive money to and from anyone for transactions such as receiving salary and cash assistance, collecting payment from customers and paying taxes, purchases and bills.
Moreover, payments are basic financial transactions. As demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, the digitalization of payments proved to be effective in facilitating the continuation of business and government transactions amidst mobility restrictions.