The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has endorsed digital signatures through the Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure (PNPKI) as valid tools for online payment transactions with government agencies and local government units.

ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica said in late December that digital signatures along with digital payments are key to a future where all government services are done online. He said the use of digital signatures is also in accordance with the ARTA Memorandum Circular No. 2020-06, a set of guidelines in issuing permits and licenses considering the new normal. 

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In addition, Belgica pressed government agencies to adopt these digital solutions, as doing so will allow the agencies to pursue automation programs and drive competence in online performance.

To concerned individuals and groups who have reservations on the validity of digital signatures for payment transactions, Belgica said he received via letter a confirmation from the Commission on Audit. In the letter, the COA mentioned digital and electronic signatures being valid for as long as they meet the conditions set in the Republic Act 8792, also known as the Electronic Commerce Act.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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