AN ORDINANCE pushing for the implementation of cashless transactions in public markets and tricycle rides in Mandaue City has been passed on third and final reading on Monday, March 20, 2023.
The ordinance adopting the Paleng-QR PH Plus, authored by City Councilor Oscar del Castillo Jr., will need the signature of Mayor Jonas Cortes and publication before it can be fully implemented.
The Paleng-QR PH Plus was launched in November last year by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
It promotes cashless payments as an alternative to paying cash in purchasing goods at public markets and in paying fares for public utility vehicles, with transactions typically being done through the QR codes of digital wallet app GCash.
During a public hearing held in February by the BSP and some members of the City Council, vendors and tricycle drivers raised concerns about the security of using digital wallets, the lack of cash-in and cash-out outlets, and their lack of knowledge of the new technology.
The BSP vowed to address these concerns, but Del Castillo said that they have not yet received any updates.
Cesar Mercadal, the Mandaue City Public Market (MCPM) acting chief and market supervisor, said only 263 of 700 individuals had registered to use digital wallets as of their survey on March 6-13.
Mercadal added that they are set to conduct another meeting with the vendors, together with personnel from GCash, to discuss their other concerns before the full implementation of the digitalization.
They have also requested the Department of Information and Communications Technology to provide free Wi-Fi access in the public market.
Some vendors had mixed responses to the proposed digitalization. Del Castillo clarified that the program is not mandatory, as they understand that some vendors and tricycle drivers are still not into digitalization, especially the elderly who don’t have smartphones. However, they are highly encouraged to participate, as the move would make transactions smoother and easier.
As Del Castillo reiterated, they are still allowed to do cash transactions. The Paleng-QR PH Plus program was officially launched in Lapu-Lapu City last Feb. 17.
March 20, 2023
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