Osmeña: Enforcing the Real Estate Service Act

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 [ ]

By Antonio V. Osmeña

THE Real Estate Service Act (RA 9646) regulates the practice of real estate service in the Philippines and creates the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service (PRB-RES).

The PRB-RES shall implement the law, under the supervision and administrative control of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). But apparently, even if the law was enacted last June 29, 2002 yet, the unlicensed real estate practitioners continue to proliferate in servicing Cebu’s land developers. They offer commercial, residential and condo units to prospective buyers and earn hefty commissions.

Today, land developers and real estate brokers continue to violate RA 9646. The PRB-RES has the duty to finally eradicate the practice of unauthorized or unlicensed individuals, exercising its quasi-judicial administrative powers.

But the question legitimate licensed brokers are asking is, when? Article 5, section 41 states that within 90 days from the effectivity of the law, the DTI-Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection (BTRCP) is required to transfer all pertinent records, documents and other materials to the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service.

“Likewise, the commission, together with the board and the accredited and integrated professional organization of real estate service practitioners, the Department of Finance, and the Commission on Higher Education, shall prepare the necessary rules and regulations,” the law states.

Critics argue that it took over five decades to professionalize the practice of real estate and what is worrisome is it might take a few more decades to implement the necessary rules and regulations.

Since the members of PRB-RES are all presidential appointees, there is a need for real estate practitioners such as the Pareb-Cereb organization to lobby for President Gloria Arroyo to fast-track its implementation.

Thousands of real estate brokers and salesmen throughout the country are waiting for the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service to perform its functions.

These include providing comprehensive policy guidelines for the promotion and development of the real estate industry; conducting licensure examinations for the practice of the real estate service profession; and issuing, suspending, revoking or reinstating, after due notice and hearing, certificates of registration or professional identification cards for the practice of real estate service.

The PRB-RES is also supposed to safeguard legitimate and licensed real estate service practitioners and, in coordination with the accredited and integrated professional organization of real estate practitioners, monitor all forms of advertisements, announcements, signboards, billboards, pamphlets, brochures and other similar nature concerning real estate.

The board has many other powers and functions but what needs to be emphasized now are the penal provisions and supervision of real estate salespersons.

In case the violation is committed by a partnership, corporation, association or any judicial person, the partner, president, director or manager who committed, consented to or knowingly tolerated unlicensed real estate practitioners, face a penalty of P200,000 or imprisonment of not less than four years. Both the fine and imprisonment may be imposed, upon the discretion of the court.

Real estate salespersons shall be under the direct supervision and accountability of a real estate broker.

A real estate broker shall be guilty of violating the law if he or she employs a salesperson who has not secured the required accreditation from the board.

RA 9646 explicitly prohibits realty developers from employing unlicensed real estate salespersons in the marketing of products. I hope the Pareb-Cereb member-practitioners shall be responsive and help stop “colorum” real estate practitioners.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 31, 2010.


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