September 21, 2023

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E-Signature Law Philippines: Is It Legal?

9 min read
E-Signature Law Philippines: Is It Legal?

With the arrival of remote and hybrid perform setups and the digitization of most small business procedures, e-signatures are becoming ever more common. 

But with their rising attractiveness will come a typical dilemma: is an digital signature authorized in the Philippines?

In this write-up, we’ll go over anything about e-signature so you can navigate the murky waters of its legality in the Philippines.

What Is an E-signature?

An electronic signature, more often recognised as an e-signature is a quick and protected way to indicator digital documents. Mainly because of their verifiability and safety, anybody can use digital signatures in location of handwritten ones.

In most scenarios, an e-signature is a digital file embedded into a doc that implies that you have agreed to its conditions. The file can be in the kind of a graphic impression or even just your name, which might also include other information and facts, these as your tackle or social protection quantity. You also can use many doc automation applications to support.

E-signatures are generally utilised for lawful documents this kind of as contracts, deeds, and wills even so, they can also be applied on business forms like obtain orders and invoices if required.

Are Electronic Signatures Authorized in the Philippines?

Man signing a document on an ipad.

Sure. e-signatures are authorized in the Philippines. Nevertheless, it is not relevant to all doc varieties. 

To determine irrespective of whether e-signatures are lawful in the Philippines, you need to appear at two items of laws: Republic Act No. 8792 and the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 (“E-Commerce Act”) protect e-signature regulation in the Philippines. 


RA 8792, June 2000

The E-Commerce Act regulates electronic information and signatures as effectively as details messages and digital files employed for each organization and private uses. 

Contracts for the carriage of items and electronic transactions in just the governing administration, together with governing administration-owned and controlled businesses, are matter to the regulations outlined in this law.

In line with the above. Republic Act 8792 or The Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 (the “Act”) aims to aid domestic and worldwide transactions by way of the utilization of digital mediums and technologies to identify the authenticity and reliability of digital paperwork.

E-Commerce Act, Aug. 2020

The E-Commerce Act was signed into law on March 15, 2000, by then-Philippine President Joseph Estrada. This regulation founded that electronic signatures are valid when utilized in compliance with its procedures and polices.

What Are the Distinctive Sorts of E-signatures?

Man about to sign a document electronically.

There are a few varieties of e-signatures: easy electronic signatures, sophisticated digital signatures, and experienced digital signatures. Electronic signatures are often applied to signal documents electronically. A electronic signature is an electronic code used to confirm the id of a individual who signs a document electronically. The particular person signing files with a digital signature is regarded as an e-signer.

E-signers can use numerous different forms of e-signatures. Some are additional secure than some others, but all have a person thing in common—they’re much easier to use than regular pen-and-paper signatures.

1. Simple Digital Signature

The lowest amount of these is the uncomplicated electronic signature (SES). It’s the bare minimal for developing someone’s identity with certainty. 

When you indicator a document, the process should really be easy, safe, and rapid.

Most people have seen this most typically in the kind of an attachment to an e mail. You receive the doc with your title previously in place where by your signature is expected. When you are happy with the produced signature impression, you can deliver it again by clicking a button. No matter who completed the procedure in the stop, the doc is now lawfully binding for the reason that anyone signed it electronically.

Faster document signing comes at the charge of earning just one or the two functions susceptible to fraud. If somebody wanted to forge a signature, it would only call for a simply click simply because it is impossible to tell who did it.

2. Advanced Digital Signature

State-of-the-art digital signatures are electronic signatures that use a higher-degree certificate to prove the identity of the signer. The signer has entire religion in the signature keys they use.

In buy for an digital signature to be thought of legitimate, it ought to be joined to the electronic identifier of the signer. The least complicated way to illustrate this is by requiring the signatory to use a cell application to validate that their digital signature was without a doubt developed by them.

When as opposed with the primary e-signature, this kind of highly developed e-signature provides a larger level of protection. In this case, the threat occurs if someone gains accessibility to one’s telephone or steals access to the involved electronic id, which is additional typical than we think.

3. Competent Electronic Signature

A certified digital signature is a substantial-amount electronic signature that has been verified by a Rely on Provider Supplier (TSP). It’s like getting your signature witnessed “as finished on pen and paper,” but in electronic type.

When a signer works by using the app on their mobile phone to verify their digital signature on an electronic doc, the TSP checks all the “matching” criteria to make certain everything is in purchase.

TSPs are only utilized in a person region, and they ordinarily appear from governing administration-owned firms or establishments like the Post Office environment.

What Use Conditions Are Ideal for E-signatures?

Two men signing an electronic document.

E-signatures are not applicable to all doc types. For case in point, they are not applicable to files that need to have to be notarized, these kinds of as genuine estate gross sales contracts and deeds. However, they are helpful in HR doc planning, close-consumer agreements, contracts, and professional and non-business dealings.

In HR document planning, e-signatures can be applied to advise staff members about new gains or changes to their health coverage protection.

They can also be employed for schooling purposes—for example, an worker handbook could be signed electronically by managers when it is initial dispersed and yet again once it has been reviewed by workers.

E-signatures can also assistance with the development of conclusion-person agreements. These are agreements concerning individuals and corporations that specify how they will use technologies together.

For illustration, an person may well indication an agreement with a company that gives program providers so that they can access their account online using a username and password delivered by the company’s support service provider.

In this case, both equally functions would have an interest in ensuring that each get together has read through and recognized what they’re agreeing on before signing on the dotted line.

Contracts can also be signed electronically if each parties concur to do so beforehand (and if there are no legal problems that stop this).

What Use Circumstances Are Not Correct for e-signatures?

Sure paperwork may possibly not be electronically signed, such as formal notarizations.

Formal notarization is a course of action that entails a notary public and an acknowledgment of the events included in producing a doc. It is used to ensure that the signatories had been current and conscious of what they have been signing.

The different sorts of files that may want notarization are:

  • Deal of partnership that will involve movable and immovable residence and genuine rights
  • Immovable property donation
  • Unique power of attorney 
  • Royalty agreements that contain the signing of patent and patent apps
  • Subordinated loan agreements
  • Secured demand notes
  • SEC Sort 12-1
  • Company paperwork submitted to the SEC 
  • Broker and dealer-issued proxies
  • Tax returns
  • The renunciation of or refusal to exercise an inherited proper, or the relinquishment of a share in house acquired by relationship
  • An agent’s authority in excess of an item, evidenced by a public doc, is considered to be exercised in just the boundaries of his or her territory
  • A transfer of legal rights that is mentioned in a community document.
  • Assignments that do not seem in a community doc or are not recorded at the Registry of Home may well be ignored by third functions.

How Are E-signatures Authenticated?

There are many components that can be used to authenticate a person’s identity when signing files on the net. The most popular procedures use passwords, a single-time SMS codes, and biometric matching. Other approaches include things like govt-issued IDs, electronic certificates issued by Rely on Services Vendors (TSP) or Certificate Authorities (CA), and smart playing cards or cell-derived qualifications.

The sender’s system authenticates the signer before the transaction requires location. Person ID and password are necessary, alongside with other authentication elements like two-aspect authentication or biometrics if they are out there on the sender’s system.

One more way to authenticate your signer is by sending them a just one-time SMS code to verify their identification. This method is useful for documents that have to have numerous-signatures throughout a number of devices, such as contracts with multiple events involved who may not be in the similar place at as soon as but need to signal all parts of it at the same time.

Other means include verifying unfamiliar people making use of governing administration-issued IDs (driver’s license, passport, etc.), which applications capture, extract, and evaluate prior to authenticating for signing applications or inquiring issues about personal info relevant especially to your company.

Usually Questioned Issues

Now that we’ve walked you via anything there is to know about e-signature legality, we have rounded up some typical concerns about e-signatures you might have:

How to build an e-signature?

Producing an e-signature is a simple process. 1st, you are going to will need to set up an account on your decided on e-signature provider’s site. When you have carried out that, you will be equipped to build your signature. The measures may well range slightly dependent on which firm you choose, but here’s what we advise:

  1. Pick the form of signature you want to use. Possibilities may well involve a handwritten signature, a printed signature, or even just a line or box in which you can draw your very own personalized mark.
  2. Determine what information and facts will go into your e-signature. This could include your title, get in touch with info, and even some further textual content if desired—all of which will be exhibited upcoming to the signed doc itself when it is printed out for other folks to see!
  3. Produce a exceptional password for this particular account so no a single else can obtain it later on on down the road if required (but don’t forget about it possibly).

How to make an e-signature in Term?

  1. Create a line by clicking on the preferred location.
  2. Enter > Signature Line will appear, follow the connection to the Office environment-signature Line.
  3. Enter a title into the Suggested Signer box in the-signature Set up dialog.
  4. The Suggested Signer’s title discipline permits you to specify a purpose for the signatory.
  5. Then, pick Ok. Your signed document now capabilities the-signature block

So, yeah. They’re legal.

E-signatures are perfectly authorized in the Philippines. Nonetheless, there are some conditions the place they might not be relevant.

For illustration, if you are using an e-signature to indication a doc that will be utilised as evidence in court docket, it is very best to use a actual physical signature instead as the regulation states that a document must be signed by hand and then notarized to be valid as evidence in courtroom.

A further case is when the document includes authentic estate transactions. In this case, the legislation necessitates both equally functions to sign on paper and have their signatures notarized or witnessed by a public officer.

In conclusion, e-signatures are lawfully satisfactory in the Philippines. Just make guaranteed that it’s not a single of the aforementioned conditions the place they may perhaps not be considered valid.

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