In order to address the 6.75-million-unit housing backlog, which approximates that around one in five Filipinos lacks access to a decent and formal home, real estate industry representatives revamped efforts to amend the Real Estate Service Act of 2009 (RESA) through the filing of a class-action Petition for Declaratory Relief on Tuesday at the Makati Regional Trial Court.
Filed by members of A Better Real Estate Philippines (ABREP), a movement that seeks to promote inclusivity and the use of technology in the industry, the petition aims to formally identify what ABREP President Anthony Leuterio calls the “anti-poor, anti-Pinoy, and anti-technology” provisions of RESA.
“RESA is anti-poor because it forces unnecessary educational requirements that drive the cost of becoming a practitioner astronomically high,” said Leuterio during Tuesday’s press conference where he was joined by some of the largest real estate groups in the Philippines, including the Chamber of Real Estate Builders’ Association (CREBA), the National Real Estate Association (NREA), and various other developer representatives.
Leuterio pointed out that under Section 14 of RESA, 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).
According to Leuterio, this is an unnecessary educational requirement that needlessly drives up the cost of becoming a real estate broker. The degree alone can cost up to P300,000 to complete, making it the most expensive and onerous broker licensure process in the world. As an alternative, he suggests decreasing BSREM’s units to those that are required to practice.
“The backlog is a major problem in the Philippines, but we cannot sell enough units due to the lack of salespersons,” said NREA President Benny Cabrieto. “There are less than 100 BSREM graduates per year, and not all pass the board. Even the good schools do not offer this course.”
The overlapping regulatory authority between the PRC and Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) created by RESA not only makes the process of licensure inefficient, but it also exposes potential practitioners to redundant registration costs.