Carmona vendors, drivers now accept QR codes for cashless trade


CARMONA, CAVITE—Timely to its bid for cityhood, the Municipality of Carmona in Cavite is embracing fully the age digitalization, as it moves toward reaching its goal to become a “smart city” and financially inclusive.

With the collaborative efforts of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), in cooperation with leading mobile wallet GCash, this progressive town is the first municipality in the Calabarzon region and the 14th local government unit (LGU) in the country to roll out the Paleng-QR PH Plus program aimed at pushing further digital transactions in the Philippines.

Promoting cashless mode of payment, this initiative provides the constituents with a safer, and more convenient transaction with local business establishments, according to Carmona Mayor Dahlia A. Loyola.

“We, at the Municipality of Carmona, are open, adoptive to change. We will not hesitate to accept all innovations that will benefit our people,” she said during the program’s launch on Friday, June 2, 2023.

The local chief executive welcomed this development as they are now gearing towards becoming a new component city of Cavite through a scheduled plebiscite on July 8. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the digitalization of payments proved to be effective in facilitating the continuation of businesses and in government transaction amid mobility restrictions. 

“It has enabled the government and private institutions to provide guidelines of support to the vulnerable sector,” DILG Region 4-A Director Ariel Iglesia said in a statement read by DILG-Calabarzon Assistant Regional Director Noel Bartolabac.

Hence, the BSP and DILG signed in June 2022 a joint Memorandum Circular of Paleng-QR PH Plus, enjoining LGUs to push for the acceptance of digital payments by customers to market vendors and public transportation drivers across the country. 

“The program aims to build the collective financial resilience of more Filipinos and help them maximize economic opportunities for inclusion to formal financial systems,” said Dr. Felipe M. Medalla, chairman of Monetary Board and governor of BSP.

Under the Paleng-QR PH, vendors and sellers in Carmona Public Market, as well as public transport drivers are encouraged to transact using digital payment platforms such as GCash using QR Codes by virtue of Ordinance 06-2023. The municipality gives P2,000 as incentive to registrants who will undergo pre-orientation on how to use QR Codes in accepting payments from customers. 

“The local government has enough resources, so we are just bringing them back to our constituents,” Loyola told reporters on the sidelines of the event.

In an interview with the BusinessMirror, Municipal Treasurer Edwina R. Ledesma cited there are around 3,000 registered businesses in Carmona—about 500 of which are micro, small and medium enterprises. 

During the kick off ceremony, the mayor and other local officials and representatives of partner agencies and payment providers awarded the incentives to the initial batch of 50 market vendors and drivers who have already enlisted. 

“As Caviteños use their transaction accounts to pay for purchases, or accept payment at the market, either as consumers or vendors, they will be able to access other financial services, such as loans, savings, insurance, and investment. It is indeed our aspiration that through the Paleng-QR PH Plus, we can have a digitally-driven payments ecosystem where everyone can be onboarded and become financially included,” said BSP South Luzon Regional Office Director Tomas J. Cariño Jr.

Per Loyola, they will continue with their information dissemination to urge more registrants by posting to Facebook accounts of the LGU and barangays the program’s video presentation of the BSP.  

“I will also set as an example to encourage them,” she said of her constant use of GCash to pay for food items, which she showed during the launch at the Carmona Public market.

“We also target next year to make it as a requirement for entrepreneurs, who will renew their business permits, to register to Paleng-QR PH Plus,” Ledesma added.

GCash President and Chief Executive Officer Martha Sazon believes that the project’s implementation in Carmona is a significant move as Cavite is part of the largest region in the country.

“The Southern Tagalog can already be considered as an extension of Metro Manila. In just a short span of time, it has become a highly urbanized region and is now home to those working in the capital. Which is why we at GCash would like to extend our safe, fast and convenient digital payment solutions to the Calabarzon region. This of course is inline with our vision of a more financially inclusive society and it starts here in Carmona,” she said. 

In addition, more vendors in the city can now be onboarded as a GCash Pera Outlet (PO) partner. This feature on the app allows small merchants to earn extra income and grow their businesses by offering customers in the community convenient access to various GCash services such as Cash-in, Cash-out, Pay Bills, and Send Money. Caviteños can also access the GCash GTreat booths at the Public Market for a safer and more convenient cashless experience.

Driven by their shared vision of “Finance for All,” GCash, BSP, and DILG have onboarded thousands of vendors and tricycle drivers for the Paleng-QR initiative in various public markets nationwide, including the Baguio City Public Market, Bangkerohan Public Market in Davao City, Dao Public Market in Tagbilaran City, Pasig City Mega Market, Antipolo Market, Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (AMTODA), Camiling Public Market in Tarlac, Naga Public Market, Lapu-Lapu Public Market—all of which now accepts GCash cashless payments using QR codes.