THE REAL ESTATE SERVICE ACT of the PHILIPPINES

Bill seeks to professionalize real estate service practitioners

By Aurea Calica Updated May 24, 2009 12:00 AM [ philstar.com ]

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Panfilo Lacson is pushing for the swift approval and signing by President Arroyo into law of the proposed Real Estate Service Act (RESA) following its approval in a bicameral conference last May 5.

The approval of the bill will give real estate service practitioners in the Philippines a chance at seeing their ranks professionalized after nearly 22 years.

“This bill was first filed during the Eighth Congress in the House of Representatives by Rep. Rodolfo Valencia, on Oct. 22, 1987. Real property is seen as a major resource and the greatest financial asset of an individual, of business groups, and of the government. This is why real estate service practitioners play a vital role in developing public and investor confidence in the real property market,” Lacson said.

Following its passage in a bicameral conference, the RESA bill now awaits the approval and signing into law by Mrs. Arroyo.

Lacson said real estate service practitioners are helping ensure the vibrant movement of capital to support economic activities that would generate more resources for development projects.

He noted that with the value of real property, transactions of this nature are susceptible to manipulation and corruption, “especially if they are in the hands of unqualified persons working under an ineffective regulatory system.”

“This is why the real estate practice ought to be regulated through appropriate licensing and the observance of a code of ethics with a defined disciplinary procedure for the protection of the public,” he pointed out. Real estate service practitioners include real estate consultants, appraisers, assessors, brokers and salespersons. But the bill will require only real estate consultants, appraisers, assessors and brokers to have licenses and other requirements.

Salespersons are only required to be accredited by the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service and may undergo certain trainings as may be prescribed by the Board.

Under the bill, the Professional Regulation Commission will take over from the Department of Trade and Industry in administering examinations for real estate service practitioners in the private sector.

“By providing for an effective regulatory structure and licensing requirement, the public is assured that only those that are technically competent and qualified are allowed to practice their profession, or will be appointed in the case of government assessors and appraisers,” Lacson said.

On the other hand, those in government need not worry about losing their positions as the bill allows them to stay in their present positions. However, they must comply with the requirements if they want to be promoted.

The bill also includes a provision requiring a professional indemnity insurance/cash or surety bond for real estate brokers and private appraisers. The bill sets the minimum limit at only P20,000 but the client is free to impose additional requirements depending on the transaction involved.

The provision serves as an additional security for the public when transacting with brokers or appraisers. (Aurea Calica)

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