A PROPOSED ordinance is pushing for the use of an online payment system in all public markets, sari-sari stores and public transportation in Cebu City.

Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia filed the measure on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, urging all business establishments and transportation groups in Cebu City to adopt “QR PH Digital Payments” and make it available for their customers.

QR PH was launched by the government in November 2019 to enable digital fund transfers between peers or individual end-users. It serves as the Philippines’ Quick Response code standard.

In November 2022, the Department of the Interior and Local Government and Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas introduced the “Paleng-QR Ph Plus” program, which promotes financial inclusion and cashless transactions in the country.

Garcia’s proposed ordinance covers all public market vendors, all public transportation plying the routes in the city and all stores and business establishments including “sari-sari” stores and ambulant vendors.

The ordinance will authorize Mayor Michael Rama to enter and sign a memorandum of agreement with the chosen qualified financial service providers (FSPs) for the implementation of the program.

The FSPs will be encouraged to implement special programs or deals that will entice target participants to open a transaction account and use QR code digital payment.

The City Government through the Department of Information and Communication will also facilitate the provision of free WiFi connectivity in public and community markets and passenger terminals.

Information, education and communication campaigns will be conducted by the City to promote and sustain the program by providing financial literacy programs, financial services for micro and small enterprises and financial consumer protection.

The merchants or public transport operators will also receive incentives under the proposed measure if they use the Paleng-QR program.

“A one percent discount shall be granted on fees, licenses, permits, or business taxes imposed by the Cebu City Government with the establishment, operation and maintenance of the market stall or tricycle operation for the first two years of the implementation of the Paleng-QR Ph Plus program,” read a portion of the ordinance.

Another one percent discount on stall rentals in the first year of the implementation of the ordinance will also be given to merchants in public markets owned and operated by the City Government.

The City’s Business Permit and Licensing Office, Market Operations Division and the Cebu City Transportation Office are mandated to craft the implementing rules and regulations of the ordinance.

The City Council approved Garcia’s proposed measure and has referred it to the committee on laws and styling for review and recommendation.