DICT to lawyers, IBP: Use digital signatures for legal docs

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The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has called on lawyers and key staff of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) to avail of digital signatures for the electronic signing of pleadings, ensure the integrity of legal documents, and protect lawyers when practicing their profession online.

In a letter to IBP president Domingo Egon Q. Cayosa, the DICT offered the Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure (PNPKI) services that allow users to apply and install digital certificates online.

The letter sought to address the need to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of electronic transactions and documents, especially for those in the legal sector who are currently under work-from-home arrangements.

“To help our lawyers administer their public duties, we highly encourage the IBP to use digital certificates for faster and more secure online legal services,” said DICT secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II.  

The DICT’s earlier efforts to assist the judicial system include offering digital certificates to prosecutors and officers of the Department of Justice – National Prosecution Service (DOJ-NPS) in support of the conduct of electronic and online inquest proceedings (E-Inquest) in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The agency also said it remains in close coordination with the IBP, which is pushing for online hearings as the preferred mode over traditional physical hearings among courts nationwide.  

A recent user feedback survey conducted by the DICT tallied a total of 1,251 people from both public and private sectors who are currently using PNPKI since the imposition of community quarantine.

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