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HomePress ReleaseAre Electronic Signatures Reshaping Legal Transactions in the Philippines?

Are Electronic Signatures Reshaping Legal Transactions in the Philippines?

Electronic signatures have become integral to modern business operations, especially in the Philippines. Understanding the legal framework governing electronic signatures becomes crucial as digital transactions grow.

E-signatures in the Philippines are transforming the
landscape of legal transactions, ushering in a new era of efficiency and
security in digital commerce. As businesses increasingly transition to digital
platforms, it becomes crucial to understand the legal framework that governs
electronic and digital signatures.

Electronic signatures, often called eSignatures, encompass
various forms, such as typed names, images of handwritten signatures, or
checkboxes on online forms. They serve as the digital equivalent of traditional
signatures, ensuring the authenticity and integrity of signed documents. For
more sensitive transactions, digital signatures employ cryptographic techniques
to secure documents further and verify signatories’ identity, utilizing unique
digital certificates issued by Certificate Authorities (CAs).

Central to the legal foundation of electronic
signatures in the Philippines
is the E-Commerce Act (Republic Act No.
8792), enacted in 2000. This legislation affirms the legal validity and
admissibility of electronic documents and signatures, equating them with their
physical counterparts under specific conditions. Critical criteria include the
signer’s intent to sign electronically, mutual consent to conduct business
electronically, and mechanisms linking signatures to documents, such as
timestamping and audit trails.

Authentication methods play a crucial role in ensuring the
reliability of electronic signatures. Options range from primary password or
PIN verification to advanced biometric techniques like facial recognition,
fingerprints, and voice recognition. Digital certificates issued by CAs create
a unique fingerprint for each signer and document, bolstering security and

Despite their advantages, certain documents remain excluded
from electronic signing under the E-Commerce Act. These include negotiable
instruments like checks and promissory notes, documents of title such as bills
of lading, and critical legal papers like wills and codicils, which necessitate
physical signatures to safeguard authenticity.

The benefits of electronic and digital signatures are
manifold. They streamline operations by eliminating the need for physical
handling reducing costs associated with paper, printing, and postage. Enhanced
security features like encryption and tamper-proof safeguards protect against
unauthorized alterations post-signing. Moreover, the convenience of signing
documents remotely from any location enhances flexibility, which is particularly
beneficial in a globalized economy and amid rising trends in remote work.

UNAWA, a pioneering legal tech company in the Philippines,
exemplifies innovation in electronic signature solutions with its platform, SignSecure.

SignSecure distinguishes itself by integrating facial
recognition biometrics, heightening authentication accuracy, and minimizing
fraud risks. Such advancements bolster security and enhance the efficiency and
acceptance of electronic signatures across various sectors.

In conclusion, electronic and digital signatures catalyze
transformation in Philippine business and legal landscapes. Supported by robust
legislative frameworks and technological innovations, they promise increased
efficiency, reduced costs, enhanced security, and environmental sustainability.
As the country continues to embrace digitalization, adopting electronic
signatures is set to accelerate, driving growth and innovation across all
sectors of the economy.



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