The signature requirements pertain the legal or contractual requirements in order to make a legally effective declaration of intent or a legally binding contract.
Possibility to replace a specific formal requirement of making a binding declaration of intention
Philippine law does not require written signatures for the validity of contracts, although signatures are essential as these typically provide evidence of consent (which is an essential element of a contract). Republic Act No. 8792 or the Electronic Commerce Act (E-Commerce Act) provides that an “electronic signature on the electronic document shall be equivalent to the signature of a person on a written document” if the signature is not easily alterable and complies with the requirements of the E-Commerce Act discussed below. Further, electronic signatures are presumed to be: (i) the signature of the person to whom it correlates, and (ii) affixed by the person with the intention of signing or approving the electronic document.
However, electronic notarisation is not allowed in the Philippines.
Presence of any specific formal requirements to effectively conclude a loan agreement
In general, there are no specific formal requirements to perfect a loan agreement as it is a real contract which only requires the delivery of the thing loaned in order to perfect the loan agreement. However, a loan agreement is usually done in written form as any stipulation regarding the payment of interest must be in writing to be valid.
Process of conclusion of a contract by using a qualified electronic signature in practice
The E-Commerce Act recognises an electronic signature on an electronic document as equivalent to a wet ink signature on a written document provided that it can be shown that the affixing of the electronic signature followed a “prescribed procedure, not alterable by the parties interested in the electronic document existed under which: (a) a method is used to identify the party sought to be bound and to indicate said party’s access to the electronic document necessary for his consent or approval through the electronic signature; (b) said method is reliable and appropriate for the purpose of which the electronic document was generated and communicated for, in light of all circumstances, including any relevant agreement; (c) it is necessary for the party sought to be bound, in order to proceed further with the transaction, to have executed or provided the electronic signature; and (d) the other party is authorised and enabled to verify the electronic signature, and to make the decision to proceed with the transaction authenticated by the same.”
The Philippines do not have a list of qualified vendors as there is currently no need for a license to provide e-signature services. In practice, parties would have to agree on what they would consider as a qualified electronic signature.
Legal consequences to a contract in case of not fulfilling formal requirements
There is no formal requirement. However, with respect to interest, it would be void if not done in writing.
Usual practice of signing contractual agreements in the B2B sector
These are usually done in written form with wet signature.
Usual practice of signing contractual agreements in the B2C sector
These are also usually done in written form with wet signature. However, in the e-commerce sector, terms and conditions are usually accepted through an online form.