Are electronic signatures legal in Philipines?
Electronic signatures have been legal since the Republic Act No. 8792 in 2000. Since then businesses have been able to sign documents through digital means.
Philippine’s legal model is a tiered one. This means that Qualified Electronic Signatures are seen as a legal type of e-signature. This doesn’t mean that a non-QES e-Signature can’t be submitted in court, but it will need extra evidence to support it.
The Philippines operate under Civil Law systems which are arranged according to a plan or a system and come from Roman law. Civil law systems are based on:
- Generally, a written constitution based on specific codes (e.g. civil code, codes covering corporate law, administrative law, tax law and constitutional law) preserving basic rights and duties
- There is little scope for judge-made law in civil, criminal and commercial courts (only legislative enactments are considered binding for all)
- In some civil law systems, e.g. Germany, writings of legal scholars have significant influence on the courts
- Courts specific to the underlying codes – there are therefore usually separate constitutional court, administrative court and civil court systems that opine on consistency of legislation and administrative acts with and interpret that specific code;
- Less freedom of contract – many provisions are implied into a contract by law and parties cannot contract out of certain provisions.
A civil law system is generally more prescriptive.
Philippine law highlights that a traditional signature isn’t necessarily required for a valid contract – contracts are considered valid if legally able individuals reach an agreement. And the Republic Act No. 8792 says that contracts can’t be refused for simply being electronic. However, these contracts may have to be supported in court with extra evidence and certified by local authorities. Electronic signature solutions can be used to provide these electronic documents.
The information in the legality guides are for general information purposes only and are not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing electronic signature may change quickly, so Signable cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. If you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.
Last updated on: January 2020