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Drivers of trikes and market vendors are urged to accept digital payments.

With its “Paleng-QR” campaign, the Bangko Sentral ng Philippines (BSP) is looking to local government units (LGUs) in Ilocos Norte to assist it in encouraging market vendors and tricycle drivers to adopt cashless transactions.

The “Paleng-QR,” a play on the words “palengke” or market and “quick response” or QR code, was created jointly by the BSP and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). It aims to develop the country’s digital payments ecosystem by promoting cashless payments in public markets and local transportation, particularly tricycles.

To further the government’s sustainable strategy and maximize the advantages of e-commerce in the digital age, the BSP is contacting provincial parliamentarians and local chief executives to urge them to accept digital payments.

Helping the typical Filipino adopt cashless transactions offers many benefits for simpler and quicker digital payments, according to Cristamarie Tabilas-Abiva, deputy director of the BSP Regional Operations Sub-sector in Batac, on Tuesday.

Abiva said as she asked the LGUs to assist in bringing together market vendors and public transportation associations for public consultation to promote the use of digital payments, whether through Globe Telecom’s GCash or Smart Communication’s Maya apps. “We want everyone to have better access to financial services and be part of the digital financial community,” Abiva said.

Laoag’s mayor, Michael Keon, promised to support the initiative by bringing together the city’s various tricycle operators and drivers associations as well as the merchants and owners of the public market and commercial complex in Laoag.

He said that the LGUs may also utilize it to disperse “ayuda,” or financial help, to the general population. “With this initiative, our merchants and tricycle drivers would have their “e-wallet” for the processing of digital payment transactions,” he said.

As of the time of this publication, a number of businesses in the city and province now accept cashless payments.

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