Real estate groups are pushing for the amendment of a law that they said curtails the growth of the brokering profession in the industry that impacts on the sales of properties.
On Tuesday, the groups under A Better Real Estate Philippines (ABREP) filed at the Makati regional trial court a petition for declaratory relief seeking to invalidate Section 32 A of the Real Estate Service Act of 2009 (RESA) which among other things provides that every 20 real estate sales agents should be supervised by one licensed broker.
ABREP through counsel Estrella Elamparo of the Divina Law in a press briefing said this “stray” provision has “no actual logical purpose and has caused confusion and hardships on the industry.” Specifically, Elamparo said the provision is interpreted to apply even to single proprietorships and not only to corporations and partnerships.
Violators of the 1:20 rule are meted with up to two years imprisonment.
Noel Carino, president of the Chamber of Real Estate Builders Association, urged the ABREP to craft a position paper for submission to Congress for sponsorship to an amendatory bill which will repeal the onerous provisions in the regulation of the practice of real estate profession.
Cariño said the provisions not only affect practitioners but also developers.
ABREP president Anthony Leuterio calls the “anti-poor, anti-Pinoy, and anti-technology” saying there have been cases where web platforms designed to connect salespersons to buyers have been misconstrued as being structured the same as traditional brokerage firms. As a result, salespersons have allegedly been falsely accused of violating the 1:20 rule.
Leuterio also highlighted RESA’s failure to promote equal opportunity for local real estate practitioners, stating the law’s stringency has resulted in much of the industry going underground, resulting in a breeding ground for colorums.
Leuterio also took note of Section 14 where applicants for the Professional Regulation Commission’s (PRC) broker licensure exam are required to hold a four-year degree in Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Management (BSREM).
Leuterio suggests decreasing BSREM’s units to those that are required to practice.
He said the overlapping regulatory authority between the PRC and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development created by RESA not only makes the process of licensure inefficient, but it also exposes potential practitioners to redundant registration costs. — Irma Isip