After nearly 22 years, real estate service practitioners in the Philippines will finally get a chance at seeing their ranks professionalized through the Real Estate Service Act (RESA).
On this note, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson pushed for the swift approval and signing by President Arroyo into law of the RESA bill following its approval in a bicameral conference last May 5.
"This bill was first filed during the Eighth Congress in the House of Representatives by Rep. Rodolfo Valencia, on October 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.
He said real estate service practitioners help ensure the vibrant movement of capital to support economic activities that will generate more resources for development projects.
Lacson 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 said.
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।