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Philippines Braces for Electronic Signature Revolution!

Unveil the Shocking Future of Legal Documentation

By Peque dela CruzPublished about a month ago 4 min read
Philippines Braces for Electronic Signature Revolution!
Photo by John Karlo Mendoza on Unsplash

Electronic signatures have become crucial in modern business in the Philippines. As digital transactions grow, understanding the legal framework becomes essential. This article explores the legal aspects, authentication methods, and benefits of electronic and digital signatures in the Philippines.

Understanding Electronic and Digital Signatures

Electronic Signature (eSignature): Users can employ electronic signatures in various forms. These include a typed name, an image of a handwritten signature, or a tick box in online forms. An electronic signature serves as a digital equivalent of a handwritten signature. It ensures the authenticity and integrity of the signed document.

Digital Signature: People often use digital signatures for sensitive or high-value transactions. Digital signatures use cryptographic techniques to secure the document. They verify the signer's identity and ensure that the document has not been tampered with since signing. They involve using a unique digital certificate issued by a Certificate Authority (CA).

Legal Framework for Electronic Signatures

The E-Commerce Act (Republic Act No. 8792) governs electronic signatures in the Philippines. It recognizes their legal validity and admissibility in evidence. The Act establishes that electronic documents and signatures have the same legal standing as physical ones if they meet specific criteria.

E-Commerce Act (Republic Act No. 8792): Enacted in 2000, this Act provides the legal basis for electronic transactions. It recognizes the validity of electronic documents and signatures. The Act facilitates electronic commerce and streamlines business processes.

Authentication Methods: Various authentication methods ensure the authenticity and integrity of electronic signatures. These include:

  1. Password/PIN: Users enter a password or PIN to verify their identity before signing. While convenient, this method is less secure.
  2. Biometrics: Biometrics include facial recognition, fingerprints, and voice recognition. They offer a higher level of security by providing a unique identifier for the signer.
  3. Digital Certificates: Certificate Authorities (CAs) issue digital certificates to verify the identity of signers. Digital certificates create a digital fingerprint unique to the document and the signer.

Legal Validity and Admissibility

The E-Commerce Act establishes the legal validity of electronic signatures in the Philippines. People consider electronic signatures legally binding if they fulfill certain conditions:

  1. Intent to Sign: The signer must intend to sign the document electronically.
  2. Consent to Do Business Electronically: Both parties must agree to use electronic signatures.
  3. Association with the Document: Signature fields, timestamps, and audit trails link the Signature to the signed document.
  4. Integrity of the Document: Signing parties must keep the document original and not alter it after signing.

Admissibility in Evidence: Electronic signatures and documents are admissible in court if they meet the Act's requirements. People must retain and accurately reproduce them for future reference, ensuring their integrity and reliability.

Documents that Users Cannot Electronically Sign

While many people accept electronic signatures, the E-Commerce Act excludes certain documents from electronic signing. These include:

  1. Negotiable Instruments: Examples are checks, promissory notes, and bills of exchange.
  2. Documents of Title: Examples are bills of lading and warehouse receipts.
  3. Wills and Codicils: People require physical signatures to ensure the testator's authenticity and intent.
  4. Family Law Documents: Examples are marriage licenses and divorce decrees.

Benefits of Electronic and Digital Signatures

Electronic and digital signatures offer numerous benefits. They transform how businesses operate and how individuals interact with legal documents.

  1. Increased Efficiency: Electronic signatures eliminate the need for physical document handling. Documents can be signed and processed in minutes.
  2. Cost Savings: Reducing reliance on paper, printing, and postage leads to significant cost savings. Organizations save on paper, ink, and printing equipment.
  3. Enhanced Security: Digital signatures provide robust security measures. These include encryption and tamper-proof features that alert users to changes made after signing.
  4. Convenience: Signers can electronically sign documents from anywhere, at any time. This flexibility benefits remote work and international transactions.
  5. Environmental Impact: Reducing paper usage contributes to environmental sustainability. Electronic signatures support green initiatives by decreasing the carbon footprint of traditional processes.

UNAWA and SignSecure

UNAWA leads in legal tech innovation in the Philippines. SignSecure is the only e-signature platform with facial recognition biometrics. SignSecure leverages advanced biometric technology to authenticate signers through facial recognition. It provides a seamless and secure signing experience. The platform's robust security measures and user-friendly interface make it the preferred choice for reliable electronic signature solutions.

Facial Recognition Biometrics: Facial recognition biometrics verify the signer's identity through unique facial features. This technology reduces the risk of fraud and impersonation. It ensures that the person signing the document is indeed the authorized signer.

UNAWA's Role in Legal Tech: UNAWA drives innovation in electronic and digital signatures as a pioneering legal tech company. They set new standards for security and efficiency. UNAWA enhances the reliability and acceptance of electronic signatures in the Philippines. Their efforts contribute to the modernization of legal processes. This makes them more accessible, transparent, and efficient for businesses and individuals.

Conclusion

Electronic and digital signatures have revolutionized how businesses and individuals handle documents in the Philippines. With the legal backing of the E-Commerce Act and innovative solutions from companies like UNAWA, people will use electronic signatures as the standard for secure and efficient document signing. Continued advancements in authentication technologies will further strengthen their adoption and acceptance. The Philippines can drive growth and innovation across various sectors by embracing electronic and digital signatures.

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About the Creator

Peque dela Cruz

Peque is the husband of Portia dela Cruz.

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    Peque dela CruzWritten by Peque dela Cruz

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