RA 9646: Resa and the Filipino real estate agent
(First of two parts)
Seven years into the implementation of Republic Act No. 9646, known as the Real Estate Service Act (Resa) of the Philippines, this week’s column will take a look at the salient points of this law and how it has been implemented so far.
Ratified on June 29, 2009, the Resa Law, as it is popularly known, “recognizes the vital role of the real estate service practitioners in the social, political, economic development and progress of the country by promoting the real estate market, stimulating economic activity and enhancing government income in real property-based transactions.”
Prior to 2009, the licensure of real estate brokers was governed by the Department of Trade and Industry and the requirement of a license was only necessary if one would be establishing a brokerage firm.
In previous decades, the real estate service practice was considered part of an informal sector, wherein practitioners or the real estate agents would usually work on a part-time basis. If the business is favorable for them, then they would usually decide to make it as their livelihood.
Thus, in the Philippine setting, real estate agents were often looked down as “ahente lang” as they engage mainly in the sale of goods and services on a commission basis.
Prior to the advent of Internet and social media, the common real estate service activities being conducted by the agents are manning on site, otherwise called as tenting, leafleting at commercial areas, trippings, telemarketing, and such.
However, the thriving property sector in the Philippines, highlighted by the proliferation of high-rise developments, has brought to the limelight the attractiveness of the real estate service as a profession among Filipinos.
And hence, there was then the motion to professionalize the real estate service industry via a legal clause requiring all its practitioners to be registered and licensed in conjunction with the law’s explicit objective of “enhancing government income” in the form of taxation.
The law created the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service (PRBRES) under the supervision and administrative control of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
PRBRES was tasked to be the policy maker, administrator of licensure examinations, promulgator, and enforcer of the rules and regulations necessary in carrying out the provisions of the law.
Real estate service practitioners
Section 3, letter G of the Resa Law defines the five different categories of real estate service practitioners.
According to the law, these five types of individuals must be duly registered and licensed before they can be involved in various real estate activities.
A real estate consultant is considered the most expert real estate service practitioner. He should be able to offer or render professional advice and judgment on the acquisition, enhancement, preservation, utilization, or disposition of lands or improvements thereon.
He can also be consulted to facilitate the conception, planning, management, and development of real estate projects. He should have been a licensed real estate broker for at least 10 years; has shown proof of real estate service practice; has attended 120 units of Continuing Professional Development before he can take the licensure examination.
Meanwhile, the real estate appraisers and assessors have the same function. They are the experts on estimating real-estate values. The former can choose to be a private practitioner and provide services to a real estate business or entity while the latter specifically works for the government and certifies the values of properties for taxation purposes.
Both the real estate appraisers and assessors should have been licensed real estate brokers for at least five years and have shown professional experience in the field of property assessment, with 120 units of CPD, and have passed the licensure exam from PRC.
Real estate brokers are considered the prime movers in the real estate service profession.
A broker acts as an agent of a party in a real estate transaction to offer, advertise, solicit, list, promote, mediate, negotiate or effect the sale, purchase, exchange, mortgage, lease or joint venture, or other similar transactions on real estate or any interest therein.
Prior to 2016, the Resa Law dictates that a broker should be a graduate of any four-year course, has completed 120 CPD units and has passed the PRC licensure examination.
Last, but not the least, the real estate salesperson.
He should be registered at the PRC, must have at least attended two years in college education with 120 CPD units, and has to be under a licensed real estate broker. Passing a PRC examination is not a requirement.
The caveat is that only 20 salespersons can be under a real estate licensed broker. Sixty units of the required CPD can be certified by the company or developer you are working for. Except for government employees, all real estate service professionals are required to post a bond of P20,000.
Validity of the licenses is up to three years and the requirement for a renewal would include the posting of another bond, CPD requirements of at least 45 units for the consultants, appraisers and assessors and 30 units for the salespersons.
One of the main provisions of RA 9646 is that effective 2016, only those who are graduates of the course BS Real Estate Management will be allowed to undergo the licensure examinations for real estate broker.
In preparation for this, the Commission on Higher Education released the governing policies for this new college curriculum.
A quick web search showed that there are only 20 universities that are known to offer this curriculum, with one university citing that it had only 10 graduates of the said course last March.
Core subjects revolve around basic business concepts like accounting, marketing, economics and finance. Major subjects will focus on legal, ethical, ecological, planning and development aspects of the real estate industry.
This mandatory requirement for real estate service has driven 36,186 practitioners to undergo the brokers’ licensure examination with 21,072 successfully passing the hurdle in a period of six years.
Last May 2016, only BS REM degree holders were allowed to take the exam wherein only 39 graduates applied and 21 passed. There has been no word yet if those who are previous examinees will be allowed to retake the exams or if the non-BS REM graduates will still be allowed in the future.
(To be continued)
Ma. Melinda A. Bernardino is the executive vice president for finance and administration of Royale Homes Marketing Corp. (RHMC), a marketing arm of Sta. Lucia Realty and Sta. Lucia Land Inc. She has been in the real estate industry for almost four decades now, majority of which were spent at RHMC.
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