E-Signature Law Philippines: Is It Legal?

With the introduction of remote and hybrid function setups and the digitization of most business enterprise processes, e-signatures are turning out to be increasingly well-liked. 

But with their growing level of popularity arrives a common dilemma: is an electronic signature authorized in the Philippines?

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

What Is an E-signature?

An electronic signature, a lot more normally recognised as an e-signature is a rapidly and secure way to signal digital paperwork. Simply because of their verifiability and stability, any person can use digital signatures in put of handwritten kinds.

In most conditions, an e-signature is a digital file embedded into a document that indicates that you have agreed to its terms. The file can be in the sort of a graphic picture or even just your title, which may possibly also include other data, these kinds of as your deal with or social stability variety. You also can use several document automation resources to assist.

E-signatures are normally applied for lawful documents this kind of as contracts, deeds, and wills on the other hand, they can also be applied on small business types like order orders and invoices if necessary.

Are Digital Signatures Legal in the Philippines?

Man signing a document on an ipad.

Yes. e-signatures are lawful in the Philippines. Even so, it is not applicable to all doc types. 

To determine whether or not e-signatures are legal in the Philippines, you will have to glimpse at two parts of laws: Republic Act No. 8792 and the Digital Commerce Act of 2000 (“E-Commerce Act”) protect e-signature law in the Philippines. 


RA 8792, June 2000

The E-Commerce Act regulates digital data and signatures as nicely as data messages and electronic files used for both of those business enterprise and private applications. 

Contracts for the carriage of goods and digital transactions within just the authorities, together with governing administration-owned and controlled companies, are matter to the polices outlined in this regulation.

In line with the above. Republic Act 8792 or The Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 (the “Act”) aims to aid domestic and intercontinental transactions by the utilization of electronic mediums and engineering to understand the authenticity and reliability of electronic paperwork.

E-Commerce Act, Aug. 2020

The E-Commerce Act was signed into regulation on March 15, 2000, by then-Philippine President Joseph Estrada. This legislation established that digital signatures are valid when applied in compliance with its guidelines and regulations.

What Are the Different Forms of E-signatures?

Man about to sign a document electronically.

There are three kinds of e-signatures: uncomplicated electronic signatures, innovative digital signatures, and competent electronic signatures. Electronic signatures are typically utilised to sign documents electronically. A digital signature is an electronic code used to verify the identification of a person who indicators a doc electronically. The man or woman signing documents with a digital signature is regarded as an e-signer.

E-signers can use a lot of unique styles of e-signatures. Some are more secure than other people, but all have one particular point in common—they’re much less complicated to use than classic pen-and-paper signatures.

1. Basic Electronic Signature

The most affordable degree of these is the easy electronic signature (SES). It’s the bare minimal for developing someone’s id with certainty. 

When you indicator a document, the approach really should be simple, protected, and fast.

Most people have observed this most generally in the sort of an attachment to an electronic mail. You acquire the doc with your title previously in put in which your signature is expected. When you’re glad with the produced signature impression, you can mail it back by clicking a button. No matter who concluded the course of action in the end, the doc is now lawfully binding for the reason that someone signed it electronically.

Faster document signing arrives at the price tag of creating one particular or both of those get-togethers vulnerable to fraud. If an individual desired to forge a signature, it would only need a simply click since it is impossible to notify who did it.

2. Sophisticated Digital Signature

State-of-the-art electronic signatures are digital signatures that use a substantial-amount certification to prove the id of the signer. The signer has entire faith in the signature keys they use.

In purchase for an electronic signature to be deemed legitimate, it have to be linked to the electronic identifier of the signer. The best way to illustrate this is by necessitating the signatory to use a cell app to confirm that their digital signature was certainly established by them.

When compared with the primary e-signature, this kind of innovative e-signature provides a better stage of protection. In this situation, the hazard arises if someone gains obtain to one’s cellphone or steals accessibility to the related electronic identity, which is extra typical than we consider.

3. Capable Electronic Signature

A competent digital signature is a high-degree electronic signature that has been confirmed by a Rely on Provider Supplier (TSP). It is like acquiring your signature witnessed “as carried out on pen and paper,” but in electronic sort.

When a signer makes use of the app on their phone to verify their electronic signature on an digital doc, the TSP checks all the “matching” conditions to make certain all the things is in get.

TSPs are only utilized in 1 state, and they commonly occur from government-owned organizations or establishments like the Put up Workplace.

What Use Conditions Are Suitable for E-signatures?

Two men signing an electronic document.

E-signatures are not relevant to all doc types. For instance, they are not applicable to documents that will need to be notarized, these types of as actual estate product sales contracts and deeds. Nevertheless, they are practical in HR document preparation, conclude-user agreements, contracts, and industrial and non-industrial dealings.

In HR doc preparation, e-signatures can be utilised to notify workforce about new gains or alterations to their well being insurance coverage protection.

They can also be employed for coaching purposes—for example, an staff handbook could be signed electronically by administrators when it is 1st distributed and all over again as soon as it has been reviewed by employees.

E-signatures can also aid with the creation of end-person agreements. These are agreements between individuals and organizations that specify how they will use know-how together.

For illustration, an specific might indication an arrangement with a enterprise that presents program providers so that they can accessibility their account online employing a username and password furnished by the company’s support provider.

In this case, the two functions would have an curiosity in guaranteeing that every get together has read and understood what they are agreeing on ahead of signing on the dotted line.

Contracts can also be signed electronically if each functions concur to do so beforehand (and if there are no legal difficulties that avoid this).

What Use Conditions Are Not Ideal for e-signatures?

Specified documents may perhaps not be electronically signed, this kind of as formal notarizations.

Official notarization is a course of action that includes a notary community and an acknowledgment of the events associated in creating a document. It is utilized to make sure that the signatories have been present and conscious of what they were signing.

The unique sorts of documents that might require notarization are:

  • Deal of partnership that includes movable and immovable residence and authentic rights
  • Immovable assets donation
  • Particular power of attorney 
  • Royalty agreements that require the signing of patent and patent apps
  • Subordinated bank loan agreements
  • Secured demand notes
  • SEC Kind 12-1
  • Company paperwork submitted to the SEC 
  • Broker and seller-issued proxies
  • Tax returns
  • The renunciation of or refusal to training an inherited ideal, or the relinquishment of a share in property obtained by marriage
  • An agent’s authority over an item, evidenced by a public document, is deemed to be exercised in just the boundaries of his or her territory
  • A transfer of legal rights that is stated in a public doc.
  • Assignments that do not show up in a community document or are not recorded at the Registry of House could be overlooked by third get-togethers.

How Are E-signatures Authenticated?

There are numerous elements that can be made use of to authenticate a person’s identity when signing paperwork on the internet. The most frequent approaches use passwords, 1-time SMS codes, and biometric matching. Other approaches incorporate governing administration-issued IDs, electronic certificates issued by Belief Company Vendors (TSP) or Certification Authorities (CA), and wise cards or cell-derived credentials.

The sender’s procedure authenticates the signer right before the transaction normally takes area. User ID and password are required, alongside with other authentication variables like two-element authentication or biometrics if they’re accessible on the sender’s method.

One more way to authenticate your signer is by sending them a just one-time SMS code to verify their identification. This strategy is useful for files that involve many-signatures across a number of systems, such as contracts with various get-togethers concerned who may not be in the exact place at the moment but want to indicator all parts of it at the same time.

Other strategies contain verifying mysterious individuals working with governing administration-issued IDs (driver’s license, passport, and so on.), which apps capture, extract, and review right before authenticating for signing functions or inquiring inquiries about particular information linked exclusively to your small business.

Frequently Asked Issues

Now that we have walked you by way of anything there is to know about e-signature legality, we’ve rounded up some prevalent thoughts about e-signatures you may have:

How to make an e-signature?

Creating an e-signature is a uncomplicated approach. 1st, you’ll need to have to set up an account on your picked e-signature provider’s website. At the time you have performed that, you’ll be ready to produce your signature. The steps might vary slightly relying on which business you decide on, but here’s what we advise:

  1. Decide on the kind of signature you want to use. Selections could incorporate a handwritten signature, a printed signature, or even just a line or box in which you can draw your very own personalized mark.
  2. Make a decision what details will go into your e-signature. This could include your title, speak to info, and even some further text if desired—all of which will be shown subsequent to the signed doc by itself when it’s printed out for other individuals to see!
  3. Generate a distinctive password for this unique account so no 1 else can obtain it afterwards on down the street if necessary (but do not ignore it either).

How to make an e-signature in Word?

  1. Make a line by clicking on the sought after location.
  2. Enter > Signature Line will show up, follow the connection to the Business-signature Line.
  3. Enter a identify into the Instructed Signer box in the-signature Set up dialog.
  4. The Advised Signer’s title area enables you to specify a function for the signatory.
  5. Then, choose Ok. Your signed document now features the-signature block

So, yeah. They’re authorized.

E-signatures are flawlessly lawful in the Philippines. Having said that, there are some instances where they could not be applicable.

For example, if you are utilizing an e-signature to indication a doc that will be used as proof in court, it is finest to use a actual physical signature instead as the legislation states that a doc have to be signed by hand and then notarized to be legitimate as evidence in court.

One more scenario is when the doc includes serious estate transactions. In this case, the regulation calls for both equally parties to signal on paper and have their signatures notarized or witnessed by a public officer.

In summary, e-signatures are lawfully acceptable in the Philippines. Just make confident that it’s not one particular of the aforementioned scenarios exactly where they may well not be thought of legitimate.

Marilynn Veness

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