Developers’ Group seeks changes to RESA Law

The Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations Inc. (CREBA) – the largest umbrella organization of the majority of players in the country’s real estate and housing industry – is seeking the amendment of key provisions of the Real Estate Service Act, more commonly known as the RESA Law, to address the possibility of its negative economic impacts to developers as well as the thousands of real estate professionals and salespersons nationwide.

Republic Act 9646 was enacted into law in 2009 to develop “a corps of technically competent, responsible and respected professional real estate service practitioners” according to world-class standards. It transferred the licensing and regulation of real estate brokers, appraisers, assessors and consultants, as well as the registration of agents or salespersons from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

“The title and objectives of the law are clear and specific. Surprisingly, the subsequent provisions extend beyond regulation of the real estate service practice. Even developers are now being regulated against selling their own projects,” Charlie A. V. Gorayeb, CREBA national chairman pointed out.

Section 28 of the law states that provisions of the law and its rules and regulations shall not apply to any person, natural or judicial, who shall directly perform by himself the acts of a real estate service practitioner with reference to his or its own property, “except real estate developers.”

“The prohibition for developers to sell their own properties is counter-productive and puts landowners at a very disadvantageous position.” Gorayeb said.

Meanwhile, CREBA national president Noel Toti M. Cariño assailed the discriminatory scholastic requirements for real estate salespersons before they can get accredited and registered by the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service (PRB-RES) which he referred to as “very high” considering that there have been thousands of such agents earning a decent living from legitimately offering real estate before RESA came into law.

“We will be depriving these poor individuals the chance to partake in the economic benefits of real estate. Many of them have been there working for so long, and then they will be suddenly cut-off because they cannot qualify for registration,” Cariño stressed.

CREBA suggests to reduce the academic requirements for salespersons provided that they undergo formal training or are certified to possess the ample experience by the licensed broker supervising them.

The association likewise moved for the scrapping of the policy limiting the supervision of only twenty salespersons per licensed broker. Its leaders are of the opinion that there is no necessity for such limit as any broker will only handle as many salespersons under his supervision as he can manage because the burden and responsibility for the acts of such salespersons bears upon his shoulders, and his own license.

Gorayeb called on lawmakers to revisit Section 34 of the law which has, for many years, sowed division and confusion among stakeholders on the matter of the “accredited and integrated professional organization” and its intended nature. He cited the conflicting manner by which the law was worded and sought that this be settled once and for all to bring unity to the varied sectors of the industry.

The group also bats for a clear statement clarifying that the requirement for real estate brokers to register under the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) by virtue of Presidential Decree 957 promulgated in 1975 has been superseded by RESA as an effect of the take-over of the PRC on all licensed real estate professionals.