THE ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ACT (R.A. 8792)
AN OVERVIEW IMPACT ON
IT’S (INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY) THE PHILIPPINE LEGAL SYSTEM
JOAN M. PADILLA*
In this age of computers and IT (information technology), the medium of the internet and other electronic means of interchange are used worldwide for various undertakings – both commercial and noncommercial. This rapid development of information and communication technologies and the growing number of transactions accomplished through electronic means necessitated the passage of a law that would facilitate and regulate these electronic transactions – the Electronic Commerce Act. Republic Act No. 8792 is the merged version of House Bill No. 9971 and Senate Bill No. 1902. It was signed into law on June 14, 2000. “A month later or on July 14, 2000, the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) was digitally signed by Secretaries Manuel A. Roxas II (DTI) and Benjamin E. Diokno (DBM) and Governor Rafael B. Buenaventura (BSP) during the plenary session of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission’s (“GIIC”) Asia Regional Conference held in Makati City, Manila.” 1 * ’06 Ll.B., cand., University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law; Business Manager, UST Law Review 1 ATTY. JESUS M. DISINI, JR., THE ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ACT AND ITS IMPLEMENTING
R U L E S AND R EGULAT I O N S , http://www.disini.ph/downloads/EcomIRR%20 Annotation.pdf (last accessed Jan 06, 2006).
JOAN M. PADILLA
Thereafter, acting on the Memorandum dated 18 June 2001 of the Committee on the Revision of the Rules of Court to Draft the Rules on ECommerce Law, the Supreme Court issued A.M. No. 01-7-01-SC (Rules on Electronic Evidence) which took effect on August 1, 2001.2 This Act is basically patterned from United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on Electronic Commerce to maintain uniformity and harmony with the other memberstates of the United Nations. Being global by nature, there is a need for international coordination and harmonization of the government policies affecting electronic commerce. The salient features of the Act are: ß It provides for the legal recognition of electronic documents or data messages; ß It provides for the legal recognition of electronic signatures; ß It provides for the legal recognition of electronic contracts; ß It mandates all government agencies to, among others, transact government business and perform government functions using electronic data messages or electronic documents within two (2) years from the date of effectivity of the Act; ß It mandates the government to install an electronic network to known as the RPWeb within two years (2) years from the date of effectivity of the Act; and ß It penalizes the offenses of hacking and piracy. The primary objective of the Act is to provide a secure legal framework and environment for electronic commerce.3 It seeks to protect the integrity of electronic documents and electronic signatures as well as its transmission and communication so as to build and ensure the trust and reliance of the public on electronic transactions. Section 3 of RA 8792 provides that “the Act aims to facilitate domestic and international dealings, transactions, arrangements, agreements, contracts and exchanges
2 A.M. NO. 01-7-01-SC.- RE: RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE 3 DISINI, supra note 1, at 8.
UST LAW REVIEW, Vol. L, AY 2005–2006
THE ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ACT (R.A. NO. 8792)
and storage of information through the utilization of electronic, optical and similar medium, mode, instrumentality and technology, to recognize the authenticity and reliability of electronic documents related to such activities and to promote the universal use of electronic transactions in the government and by the general public.”4 Despite these laudable aims and objectives, many are still skeptical on the methods provided under the law to ensure the integrity and security of these...
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