Real Estate - Anti-Colorum Advocacy

Below is a reposted publication about the Philippine Real Estate Service Industry. The interview with Philippine Star below is a point of view of a colorum sector. They are still hoping for an overtime-round to bend the provisions of the Law through the Implementing Rules and Regulation. They have hired unlicensed real estate agents who have now risen to the management ladder of their companies. With the new law professionalizing the service, they have a big problem on what to do with the unlicensed.


Real Estate Industry Prepares for Professionalization
By Roger Garcia (The Philippine Star)
Updated March 26, 2010 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines

The local real estate industry may soon finally have a Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service (PRBRES) under the supervision and administrative control of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

Barring any unforeseen circumstance, its charter members of the board and the chairman will be inducted today, March 26, 2010.

The real estate industry, particularly the working sales people such as brokers, sales personnel who are all in the forefront of the lifeblood of property development and real estate sales transactions are all waiting in earnest as to how the newly established body will act on the current problems concerning the licensure procedure of those individuals and companies involved in the selling of real properties in the country.

On June 29 of last year, Republic Act 9646, or now more commonly referred to as the Real Estate Service Act (RESA) was signed into law.

This new ruling basically requires all real-estate service practitioners to be licensed and registered with the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service,which is under the supervision and administrative control of the Professional Regulation Commission.

Conversely, the new law intends to protect the buyers, even before they get involved in a real-estate transaction, by assuring them that they are only dealing with competent, professional, duly licensed and registered practitioners whose standards of practice and service shall be globally competitive and who are subject to stiff penalties for certain violations and malpractice.

Prior to the effectivity of this law, these licenses were secured only from the office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Except for the real-estate salesperson, all levels, meaning the broker, appraiser, consultant and assessor are required to undergo examinations to be given by the board as a prerequisite to licensure and registration.

However, a real-estate salesperson is still required to secure a license and can only work under a licensed broker who will have to be a signatory in all the transactions of the salesperson.

For almost three years now, a good number of real estate practitioners have failed to renew their real estate broker’s license for the simple reason that the Implementing Rules and Regulation of the new law has not been prepared yet.

The issue has caused a lot of confusion among real estate practitioners all over the country.

In an exclusive interview with the Star, Alejandro Manalac, a three-term National President of National Real Estate Association (NREA), a leading real estate organization in the country and currently the vice president for sales of businessman Lucio Tan’s ETON Properties, gave some insights into this issue:

PS: In your opinion what do you propose that the newly formed board should do to address this issue?

Alejandro S. Manalac: Once this board gets to work, the first thing on their work pads will be the drafting of the Implementing rules and regulations (IRR) which should give clarity to all the vague provisions of this law that caused a lot of worries to a lot of practitioners (whether licensed, candidates for licensing or “colorum” agents as referred to by the brokers). Right now, these practitioners, especially those who are not updated with the current status of RESA, are in limbo as to when, where and how they can renew their expired licenses.

PS: Can you explain exactly the real intention of this law?

ASM: As a whole, the intention of this law is very well appreciated by the industry. It is just that it came like a thief in the night which caught everyone by surprise except for some quarters which really pushed for this for their own benefit. The basic idea as stated in the Declaration of Policy in Article I, section 2. ....”Hence, it shall develop and nurture through proper and effective regulation and supervision a corps of technically competent, responsible and respected professional real estate service practitioners whose standards of practice and service shall be globally competitive and will promote the growth of the industry”, is to professionalize the industry of real estate.

PS: What particular provision of this new law that caused a stir? And why?

ASM: “The only 2 provisions which really caused quite a stir in the circles of developers are sections 31 and 32 of Article IV which covers the Practice of Real Estate Service. Section 31 is about the Supervision of Real Estate Salespersons. Section 32 is what really alarmed the developers and most of all, their in-house sales people.

This section which is about the Corporate Practice of the Real Estate Service which has been perceived to be still very vague and thus subject to interpretations will definitely be first on the agenda of this august board. This is the provision which will have the biggest effect on the operations of corporations involved in marketing and selling of Real estate development projects.

Many ‘old timers’ who have climbed up the corporate ladder in their respective sales organizations who now heads big sales teams but do not have a Real Estate Broker’s License may even be displaced . What makes it worse is if they do not have College degrees and thus could not even be qualified to take the exams.

PS: Were you not consulted by members of Congress at a time that the law is being deliberated upon in the House and Senate?

ASM: Yes and No. Why because we submitted all our position papers while this law is being hatched in Congress but the passage of this law became so swift that we were not given some more chance to press our major concerns.

Industry workers were practically caught by surprise when this act was signed into law. The surprise turned into fear when they learned about the limiting provisions of this law. This fear turned into anger when they realized that they were practically “cornered” by this law, seemingly helpless at present since there were no provisions for a smooth transition.

These people I am referring to are the in-house sales people of most of the bigger developers. They have the impression that they are being forced into a situation where they have no choice but to turn to the few licensed brokers who were fortunate enough to renew their licenses just before the deadline last June.

PS: What’s the general feeling of property developers with regards to the fast-tracking of the RESA law?

ASM: Most developers feel that this law, with all its good intentions, only favors the existing active licensed real-estate brokers now but have neglected the existence and importance of the in-house sales organizations who are actually the ones who have played a major role in bringing Philippine real estate to where it is right now.

PS: Will the industry players be given the chance to assist in the formulation of the IRR?

If so how?

ASM: We are all hoping that we’d be given the chance this time. The real estate industry as a whole is confident that we’d all be given the chance to come up with a win-win scenario especially for the sales personnel and brokers concerned.

For the past several months, I have been involved in a series of discussions with different real estate organizations and developer associations who have come up with a lot of bright ideas on how to go about the transition as smooth as possible to ease the ‘birth pains’ of professionalizing the practice of real estate selling. These ideas will definitely be valuable inputs that will help in the faster and more objective drafting of the IRR so that everybody can already move on.



n the Philippine real estate market, there are sellers in one side and buyers in the other side of the transaction. Between these two sides are agents who facilitate information, transaction, and meeting of the minds of sellers and buyers.

Most, if not all, agents are loyal to sellers because they get their compensation from overprice and percentage commission. Few agents present themselves as buyer agents, but in the middle of the transactions, ended up into pretentious dual agents, perfect picture of conflict of interest.

I can see that the most neglected and unrepresented sector of the real estate market are the buyers. This is the critical gap that I want to fill in. This is the reason why I am an Exclusive Buyer Agent.

When I talk about colorum, I mean those who have no license or registration. License is an authority given by DTI (juris is now transfered to PRC) to practice the real estate profession. Registration, in the complete sense, includes registration with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board as broker/salesperson practitioner, principal place of business (office), mayor's permit to operate, and own business official receipt recognized by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

In the Philippine real estate service, 95 percent of real estate agents are unlicensed. Out of the 5 percent who are licensed, less than 10 percent are registered. Therefore, the public is dealing a sector that is 99.5 percent dominated by colorum agents.

Colorum practice is associated with unethical practices which put the consumers (buyers and property owners) in losing end. It is associated with unfair competition, which kill the business of the licensed and registered profesional brokers. It is associated with tax evasion, which contribute to the sluggish development of the country.

The passage of the Real Estate Service Act of 2009, which professionalizes the real estate service sector, is the greatest action of government so far. As to advocacy to eradicate colorum practices, the role of government is not yet conceived.

The Philippine real estate service is my full-time business environment. Under the colorum-dominated regime, I believe that staying on the right side is still the best choice in the long run. Even if wealth is only feasible on the other side of the fence, even if I earn zero for reason that I am the only one who follows the ethics, I would still choose to be Right. Because "trust" is what the profession is all about -- TRUST is what the clients is paying for.

It is my duty to sanitize my industry. My professional success depends on the integrity of realty service in general. Fear of God, love of country, and sense of survival are the three big reasons why I have courage, even alone, to advocate against colorum real estate service practices.

John Petalcorin
December 2009


Below is the status of my complain against several colorum real estate brokers and salespersons operating in Metro Manila. The persons are being complained for selling projects without HLURB salesman/broker registration. The evidences gathered were the fliers they distribute to the public by which they put their names as contact salespersons without license numbers. Those I have initially caught are selling projects of the developers listed below. I don't know yet if any of these developers is aware that there are colorums selling their projects.

Etc.... Etc.... Etc....


11/25/2009. I want to do this advocacy systematically and in a sustained professional manner. I am currently looking for Professional Private Investigators who are interested to accept an outsourcing workload about colorum salespersons who market real estate projects. The workload will include (1) evidence gathering, (2) background investigation, (3) and investigative report writing. The offered contract rate for each Investigative Report is P5,000 per successful complaint. The coverage of the project will be Nationwide. // JOHN PETALCORIN

From: John Petalcorin [mailto:johnpetalcorin@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 10:07 PM
To: 'Leonora Hilahan'
Subject: RE: Inquiry on Complaint Procedure

Dear Leonora Hilahan:

Thank you so much for the guidance! I really appreciate the assistance. I will consult with my lawyer the soonest time possible. For your info, I am looking at the following claims against damages for each violator:

Reimbursement of Filing Expense: P1,010
Complainant's Attorney Representation Expense: 3,000 per Hearing
Background Research: 5,000
Loss of my Income for the time spent on this issue: 10,000
Total: 19,010

Thank you so much.



From: Leonora Hilahan [mailto:leonorhilahan@hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 1:49 PM
To: johnpetalcorin@gmail.com
Subject: RE: Inquiry on Complaint Procedure


In reference to your query in filing a formal complaint, you may consult a private lawyer or any lawyer from Public Attorney's Office to assist you. The filing fee depends upon the amount of money claims and damages, if there are. The minimum filing fee is P1,010.00 for specific performance. You can file your complaint from Monday to Friday during office hours. A certificate of non-forum shopping is a certificate of an affiant declaring that you have not filed any complaint in any court, judicial or quasi-judicial office with the same cause of action. The HLU Arbiter will only require you to be represented by a lawyer if it is necessary. I hope that this Office has answered your query. Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Complaints & Docketing Section
Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board
HLURB Building Kalayaan Avenue corner
Mayaman Street, Diliman Quezon City
Tel. No. 9295332


From: John Petalcorin [mailto:johnpetalcorin@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 4:53 AM
To: 'Leonora Hilahan'
Subject: Inquiry on Complaint Procedure

Okay, I will file a formal complaint for each of these colorum real estate practitioners.

I have five questions about procedure though:

1. What is your name, designation, office address and contact number?
2. How much is the complaint filing fee?
3. What day/time do you accept filing of complaint?
4. Where is this Regional Office of the Board where I can file a complaint?
5. What is a Certificate of Non-Forum Shopping?
6. Do you require that I be represented by a Lawyer?

Thank you for the response.

John Petalcorin
REBL 15901R


From: Leonora Hilahan [mailto:leonorhilahan@hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, November 23, 2009 4:49 PM
To: johnpetalcorin@gmail.com
Subject: colorum practice in real estate service


This refers to your e-mail on the abovecited subject matter. Please be informed that this Office cannot take cognizance of the issue you raised unless you file a formal complaint.

Section 1, Rule III of the 2004 Rules of Procedure of this Board reads as follows, to wit:

"Section 1. When Action Deemed Commenced.- An action is deemed commenced upon the filing of a verified complaint with the REgional Office of this Board, in three (3) copies as there are respondents with supporting documents and upon payment of filing fees. A certification of non-forum shopping which complies with Supreme Court Circular No. 28-91, as amended shall be attached to the complaint." (Underscoring supplies)

Based on the foregoing rules of this Board, your complaint must not only be verified but must be accompanied by a certificate on non-forum shopping and, lastly, essential docket fee must be paid.

Very truly yours,


From: John Petalcorin [mailto:johnpetalcorin@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, November 23, 2009 9:45 AM
To: 'Leonora Hilahan'
Cc: 'ebarrameda@hlurb.gov.ph'
Subject: RE: colorum practice in real estate service

Dear (no name):

Thank you for the response. My addressing of complaint to the office of the Expanded National Capital Region did follow earlier directional advice of a lady Attorney in your Legal Services Group. Although I felt like a ping-pong ball now, I nevertheless am grateful for referring my letter back to them, and I expect a response from them about the status.

HLURB is a government institution to implement PD 957 and its IRR -- the public expects your institution to implement its mandate. You register brokers/salesmen who sell projects, and equally important you ran after the colorums, that simple.

I was surprised to your statement, referring to an old 1997 Circular. It appears you are making it as a legal basis of "excuse". HLURB "opinion" is not necessary, but your action is. There is a book for sale in your library at P200 entitled Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations for PD957 (2001), which give HLURB the job to implement actions against colorum agents. The moment for "opinion workload" is in the obsolete past -- HLURB job since 2001 is to implement the PD957 IRR.

Running after the colorums is not a "unique" workload for HLURB. For sure, the silence "contentions" of the licensed and registered brokers/salesmen against the colorums is just a huge workload flood which the HLURB may not be ready to face. The colorum workload flood is a result of accumulated inaction of the HLURB ever since. My gathering of evidences against colorum salespersons and brokers is indeed a "novel" act, but mind you, it will be a continuous and sustained action of my company. All of the evidences against colorum individuals will be filed in your office, in huge numbers even more than how many licensed brokers you register each year.

I hope HLURB will feel that I am on your side of the law. I hope HLURB will recognize my diligence and voluntary contribution in this endeavor to clean-up the real estate service sector of this great nation.

By the way, just a side-note. I just notice something strange in your email. If I remember it right, I think I addressed my email to Editha U. Barrameda, Regional Officer of the Expanded National Capital Region, so I am expecting a response from that office. I just noticed you don't have official designation signature below and you don't use @HLURB email address -- so I doubt if your email is a genuine HLURB response. Is it customary in HLURB to use personal email address (such as hotmail) to respond to official emails of the public?

Licensed Real Estate Broker 15901R
Tel: 5830858


From: Leonora Hilahan [mailto:leonorhilahan@hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, November 23, 2009 8:28 AM
To: johnpetalcorin@gmail.com
Subject: colorum practice in real estate service


This has reference to your e-mail dated 14 November 2009, regarding the abovecited subject matter.

Please be informed that under HLURB Circular No. 07, Series of 1997 this level is not authorized to render any opinion on queries that involve novel, unique or contentious questions of law or policy not yet covered by existing laws, standards, rules and regulations, court decisions or Board Resolutions. The issues in your letter are contentious, hence, we deem it prudent not to render any opinion.

We regret not being able to give you any opinion but we have to abide by the aforementioned circular.

Be that as it may, we have forwarded your letter-query to the Legal Services Group, at telephone no. 9243367, for their action.

Very truly yours,


From: John Petalcorin [mailto:johnpetalcorin@gmail.com] Sent: Saturday, November 14, 2009 4:33 PMTo: 'ebarrameda@hlurb.gov.ph'Subject: Complaint Against Colorum Real Estate Salesmen


Editha U. Barrameda
Regional Officer
Expanded National Capital Region
ENCRFO, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board 2nd Flr., HLURB Bldg., Kalayaan Ave., cor. Mayaman St.
Diliman, Quezon City
Tel Nos. (632) 926-1061, 924-6658

Dear Regional Officer Editha Barrameda:

As potential buyer, member of the public, and licensed real estate broker, I would like to complain the following individuals in attached files, who are practicing real estate project salesmanship without license and registration. They violated (and may still be continually violating at present) Rule V of the Revised Rules and Regulations Implementing the Subdivision and Condominium Buyer's Protective Decree (PD957) and other related laws such as the Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines (Republic Act 9646).

The evidence I have are their marketing fliers. I have all the evidences in my file, intact, and I will turn over them formally to you when you tell me so and in your most convenient time.

The file I am attaching here have their names, contact numbers, project they are selling, and developer they are representing. These information are based on the evidences I have. I am expecting your agency to perform your duty -- (1) to investigate and (2) issue subpoena duces tecum addressed to the individual violator and to their developer-employer. As complainant, I am more than willing to confront them in your office or anywhere legally appropriate.

Colorum practice in real estate service is so rampant already, it has to stop. I am currently making arrangement to bring this issue to the attention of the media and the real estate brokers' associations. Please expect that the public will look into what action you have taken on each of the individuals I am complaining against.

Thank you so much.

Real Estate Broker Lic#15901R
General Manager, REIBS.com
1504 Cityland VitoCruz Tower 2
720 Ocampo Street, 1004 Malate Manila
Tel: 5830858 / 0921-7172040
Email: johnpetalcorin@gmail.com


ADDRESS ING THE AUDIENCE. Government officials, real estate developers, honorable real estate consultants, appraisers, assessors, fellow brokers, the ever productive salespersons, public consumers, good evening in the world-wide-web. My name is John Odonnell R. Petalcorin, a licensed real estate broker since 1998, a government advocate in background, and now a full-time professional broker. My surname does not sound familiar, but rest assured, I am a Filipino citizen by birthplace and decent.

I know that the underground real estate agency is already entrenched in our culture and many will feel bad about this warning. Nevertheless, I hope you will be glad that I am trying to reach out to advocate a new law entitled “Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines” (Republic Act 9646) which was signed by the President on June 29, 2009 and took effect on July 30, 2009. I have dedicated myself to advocate this law in words and in practice, and gangway because I am about to ram everyone who will obstruct the path of my mission.

THE NEW LAW. According to RA 9646, the five servicemen of the real estate industry (Salesperson, Broker, Assessor, Appraiser, and Consultant) are now under the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), just like the doctors and lawyers. The upcoming real estate brokers are required to have gone through a bachelor’s degree in real estate service, and after which they will have to pass the real estate board exam. We, Salespersons, Brokers, Appraisers, and Consultants, whose registration and license are not yet expired as of 30 July 2009, will be carried over, are allowed to continue the practice, and are exempted from the board exam, but we will have to register with PRC as soon as the Board is up and running.

ADVERTISING IS AN ACT OF A BROKER (PROJECT-SELLING). Persons and entities who want to sell development projects are required by law to secure HLURB Registration Certificate (per Rule 5 of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulation of PD 957) before they do it. The registration requirement covers Dealers, DTI-licensed Salespersons, Brokers, and in-house Salesforce of the Developers. The mere act of giving out (offering out fliers, calling cards, brochures, price lists, posting of tarpaulins, and building websites for real estate advertising purposes), is not yet an act of real estate broker until a person writes/stamps his/her name as contact person behind those advertising medium. The law (PD 957 and its Implementing Rules, find it in http://www.hlurb.gov.ph/) require professional license and registration from DTI (now PRC) and HLURB before a person performs any act of a salesman or broker. When a person asigns himself as contact person of any real estate advertising medium, it is already an act of a salesman or broker and it requires professional license and registration. The law applies to in-house and independent real estate agents.

If you sign as one of the witnesses of a project sale, and you are not an HLURB-Registered Broker or Salesman, it could give you big trouble. That document becomes an evidence of violation of Section 32 of the PD957 IRR. According to this Section, "the broker or salesman whonegotiated the sale of a subdivision lot or condominium unit shall act as one of the witnesses to the sales document with an indication of his Certificate of Registration number and renewal date...". These things are supposed to be taught by Developers to their salesforce, instead of merely teaching them to become annoyingly aggressive salesmen.

HISTORY. For over two decades prior to 30 July 2009, it was the DTI Memorandum 39 and Presidential Decree 957 that regulates the real estate practice in the Philippines. Starting 30 July 2009, the RA 9646 replaces MO 39 and repeals all inconsistent provisions of PD 957 (including its IRRs). PD 957 clearly said that all persons selling projects are required to have a DTI license and HLURB registration. When I started Real Estate Brokerage in 1998, the colorums only worked on independent brokerage operation (as I noticed), selling lands in a discreet manner, and they maintained a low profile.

CURRENT INVESTIGATION. After aleven years, in August 2009, I commissioned someone out to the malls in Metro Manila to gather fliers handed over by real estate salespersons. Out of the 138 fliers we initially collected that I personally investigated, only two claim to be licensed brokers, all the rest are colorum salespersons. Surprisingly, the two who claim to be licensed brokers are not listed in the HLURB Brokers list, meaning, they could be fake. The fact of this calous advertising of real estate by colorum agents has become very alarming. As a result, I have decided to make my research and investigation continue everyday, I assigned volunteers in the field to gather these advertising medium and return it to me for study.

WHOSE FAULT? No one can tell when exactly was the onset when colorums, in a flooding scale, have penetrated the in-house marketing arms of developers. In my opinion, the onset was probably when the developers started hiring unlicensed sales managers who in turn brought in unlicensed salespersons (because take note that only a Licensed Broker is authorized by law to make a licensed Salesperson). The increasing proliferation of colorum agents, as an issue of failure of order in society, is in my opinion a shared fault and accountability of the DTI, HLURB and the Real Estate Brokers Associations (REBAP, PAREB, CREBA, etc) because these institutions are supposed to be the guardians of the law and order in the real estate service industry. There was failure because no one who is holding a position in those pillars has ever made any courageous move to stop the colorums. DTI have lots of public fund for IT but in the so many times that I tried to check out the Real Estate Brokers List in their website, no data would load, desperately I would comment that they are such a BIG FAILURE! For HLURB, I praise you because when I checked your website, you have an updated list as of July 2009 - Metro Manila Brokers List, Metro Manila Salespersons List.

HOW WE WILL ATTACK THE COLORUMS. If you are presently a project-selling (developers) agent whose supervisor is not a Licensed Real Estate Broker, please be warned that you have been, and you are still operating illegally according to Republic Act 9646 (read carefully Sections 28, 32, 33, 39) and you have also violated Section 32 of the PD957 IRR. Beware that there are licensed brokers out there who gather material evidences of illegal practice. Be prepared, you may receive a subpoena from PRC or HLURB by surprise any moment especially if it is your name that appears at the back of advertising fliers that you distribute or the websites that you build. Very soon, based on the material evidences of my study, I will be submitting a formal complain to the HLURB -- the long list will show the names, contact numbers, project being offered for sale, and corporate name of developer. According to the RA 9646, the penalty if you are caught practicing real estate profession without a license is DOUBLE the minimum of fine of P100,000 AND/PLUS DOUBLE the two years imprisonment. Now, you are paying attention and is probably very worried.

SUGGESTION TO COLORUM AGENTS. Okay, lets imagine and pretend that we are friends and we are sitting in a bar drinking beer. Ponder to my question my colorum friend, if your group cannot move you to a unit that is managed by a Licensed Real Estate Broker, is it just right that you should rationally demand for a higher allowance and higher share of the commission to compensate the risk of working illegally? As an economist who is specialized in studying the underground economy, let me tell you that risk is a factor that increases price; meaning, if someone asks you to do a risky job, you must demand for a very high compensation. If you receive a surprising invitation (text message or email) to join a licensed broker, it means that you are already identified as colorum. A tagged colorum have two correct options, (1) to stop practicing real estate sales as colorum, or (2) accept the invitation if you really love the work of a real estate agent. The licensed brokers are reaching their hands out to you to get you out of that mess. If your boss is a colorum like you, it's not the end of the world, talk to him/her and convince him/her that both of you need to become legal. Look around and be aware that many licensed brokers are currently recruiting. Join a unit that is supervised and managed by a licensed broker (in-house or external to your organization) who will train you properly and accredit you with PRC so you will become a professional salesperson.

FOR DEVELOPERS. The RA 9646 requires each division, department, or unit of a developer marketing arm to be managed and headed by a licensed broker. For the developers who have neglected to register their salesforce with the HLURB in the past (brokers and salespersons), you now have a very big problem. You have a problem on how to dispose your unregistered in-house managers and all their unregistered salesmen. Please stop dreaming about bending the law and stop praying that the Implementing Rules and Regulation that will give exemptions. I suggests that you start hiring a few licensed Brokers and accredit as much external Licensed Real Estate Brokers, so you will be able to meet the 20:1 salesperson:broker ratio required by RA 9646. Again, I emphasize few in-house brokers and more external brokers, because if you do the reverse, the number of brokers to serve the public in the open water will decrease so much that it will make the price of their services skyrocket, and it is bad for everyone. What most developers are thinking of right now is a "hope" of a temporary fix in a tune that they will apply for temporary exemption of the 20:1 requirement on grounds (palusot) that "they cannot find enough licensed brokers" or "there are very few licensed brokers out there". There are already documented incidents reported to me that a licensed Broker is refused accreditation by a developer, and it is already an evidence that developer are just making palusot about the "broker non-availability" reasoning. Personally, as part of my advocacy, I will make sure that the Commissioners or the Real Estate Board will deny your palusot. The biggest problem for developers right now is how to put their colorum managers under the supervision and control of a licensed broker (pride issues) -- because even their managers will have to step down and become licensed salespersons, that is IF they cannot pass the Real Estate Broker Licensure exam.

Nevertheless, there is also another group that we must watch. Sometime August 22-23, 2009, someone texted me and introduced him/herself as Officer of a certain group called Philippine Association of Real Estate Salesmen (PARES) and was shocked about their messages that tuned up to the sense that RA 9646 is oppressive. They do not want to be under any licensing authority and they are not afraid to face any legal actions against them (the colorums), and they kept on saying that they are a strong force to reckon with. What I have in mind is a suspicion that this PARES is the thing that I heard somewhere about a secret organization of colorums that is composed of the in-house managers of various real estate development firms or even ex-brokers. They hate RA 9646, naturally, because they will have to be replaced with licensed brokers or be demoted under a licensed brokers. During our text message exchange, I was hoping that I can extract suggestion and ideas from them but all I got was complaints about the government that they calls fascist. This PARES hates Brokers and Developers and call these two exploiters. To me, that PARES Officer sounded more like one of those labor unions, or one of those party list wannabees, instead of association of professionals that I expected. This PARES will surely give headache to the Developers, they are those kinds who may conduct a labor union type strike and rally when the developers make any move to comply to RA 9646. What these PARES don't know yet is that I have a very workable suggestion for them that they will even benefit more, and they just have to wait for their developers to attend my private lecture.

With this protential problematic group of PARES that the developers face, I have a very workable solution in mind other than that that I have already suggested, but since I know that developers have a lot of wealth, let me offer the rest of my ideas for a FEE (P500,000 for 4 hours sit-down strategy presentation)-- just tell me how big your company is in terms of salesforce so that I can set an appointment for two of your higher-ups to come to my office where I will deliver my idea in private. My idea will help you re-engineer your organization, without necessarily sacrificing your best sales managers. If you don't like my idea, then at least you heard it from someone other that those you normally listen to (who put you into this big mess). But I assure you, hearing my presentation is really worth it.

DUMMY LICENSES AND COLORUMS. With the advent of RA 9646, there are colorums, especially the manager types, who shop around for licensed brokers they can conspire with in consideration for a fee (eto pera, pagamit naman ng license mo). I, for one was already approached, and in a separate incident another colleague from Binondo was approached also. When I secretly checked out the office of the one who approached me, I saw some BOLD LETTERS on his business signage saying he/she is a LICENSED BROKER (in my mind: ang lakas ng loob ng peke na ito, ang tanga tanga naman ng DTI binigyan pa ng business name registration) and another funny thing is that the calling cards of all of his/her colorum agents says they are PROPERTY CONSULTANTS (grabe na eto, kinilabutan ako nang ginamit nila ang title na Consultant)! Beware that these colorum managers will offer you something hard to refuse, so they can continue their Salesperson cum Manager operation using your name and License# as their shield. Fellow Brokers, what these people are attempting is a violation of Section 19B of RA 9646, and please do not risk your license on the line, there are very few licensed brokers now and we do not want to become much fewer -- if you conspire with these colorums, I will purge you in the same manner we purge the colorums. Put the Salespersons in their correct position, under supervision and control of the licensed Brokers. Remember, a salesperson cannot operate independently without supervision and control of a broker. Only the broker shall have listings, the salesperson cannot get into a listing agreement with property owners without the signature of the broker. Remember, it is part of my personal mission to identify and report any licensed brokers who get into malpractice.

If you are a colorum agent, you are just being exploited. Most of the times, you have feeling that your own managers steal your buyers and your commissions. Those colorum managers will not help you if you get caught by HLURB. Those colorum managers will show that thing you signed with them that says you are aware of PD 957 and it is you who fooled them and pretended you are a registered salesman (all salespersons and brokers who joins in-house developers signs that thing, you check it out). You never have to hesitate to jump to the right side, the cloud of the law is already there above you and it is about to pour a lot of rain into your life. Your colorum bosses will also tell you that they will take care of everything and they are still waiting for something that is called IRR --- well dude the PD 957 IRR had been there since 2001 and you can be charged on violation of PD957. You can call the library of HLURB and ask for a copy of the PD957 IRR and they are selling it at P200 - it is best that you read the IRR outside prison cell. It's either you join us in the legal and professional side, or status-quo in the wrong side and continue being exploited to distribute fliers in fear. If you continue a life of a colorum real estate agent (in-house or independent), you will continue to be exploited, be persecuted by the law in a similar manner as the illegal sidewalk peddlers. If you decide right now to get out from your colorum group and join a licensed broker, you are making the right decision, your past experience as a colorum may be redeemed, and your licensed broker maybe able to train and register you properly for your own protection. Please don't worry about getting rejected for whatever reason you anticipate, just submit the online application in REIBS and we will refer you to another independent licensed broker nearest your residence if we can no longer accomodate you in REIBS. There is also a list of Licensed Brokers you can also contact any of them directly and apply as salesperson.

FOR THE LICENSED BROKERS. You have trained well, passed the real estate broker exam, paid the license and registration, and you deserve to work in a profession that is not contaminated with colorums. As we sticked to the Code of Ethics, we suffered much from colorums who have stolen in bulk the fruits of our professional field as they make sales without fear about the rules that we follow in the profession. Many brokers who painstakingly passed the licensure exam started their careers in real estate with high hopes and dreams of professional success, but later on fell out of the profession as they went desperate because they could not even get a good position in the real estate industry because the positions in marketing arms of the developers are already taken by the colorums. Today, with the power of RA 9646, we will no longer tolerate the government to sit lazy and afraid of the colorums. We will bombard the government with advocacy and complain if they will not protect us, the licensed brokers, and will file a complain in the Civil Service Commission if they will not act on our complains against the colorums. By the way, someone asked me where to file a complain against colorums. Please send your complain letter and evidence (normally fliers that have no HLURB Salesman Reg#) to Editha U. Barrameda, Regional Officer, Expanded National Capital Region, ENCRFO, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, 2nd Flr., HLURB Bldg., Kalayaan Ave., cor. Mayaman St., Diliman, Quezon City, Tel Nos. (632) 926-1061, 924-6658, E-mail 1: ebarrameda@hlurb.gov.ph.

Let us work harder. As we invite more customers to our professional world, let us also look at ourselves at the mirror and continually improve our grooming, confidence, expertise, and sense of professionalism in what we do. We must always abide by the rules and regulation governingour profession. For some of my colleague licensed Brokers who operate like freelancers, please stop transacting informally in restaurants, and I suggest that you establish a formal principal place of business (a real office with table and chair and business license and registrations) in compliance to Section 33 of RA 9646, if you cannot afford to rent a commercial space, a home-type office will work perfectly fine just like the one I have. You actually have a choice of being an independent office or an in-house broker of developers. Either way, you should (must) have a private office because you are now professionals. If you will not, our fellow professional lawyers and doctors will start following your style of performing the professional work in a restaurant (jokingly). Personally, I suggest you stay independent with own sole-proprietorship office because the Philippine population is too huge, we lack licensed brokers, and there may even be cities and municipalities in the Philippines who need the professional services of licensed brokers but there is no one in the neighborhood. If you decide to become an in-house broker of developers, you will be limited to only 20 salespersons. If you decide to become an independent sole proprietorship, you can get as many salespersons as you want, sell whatever project you want, and serve a greater number of our countrymen. Just a piece of advice, you may join whatever developer in-house group you want as long as it is not contaminated with managers who are not Licensed Real Estate Brokers (because the law oblige us not to tolerate such activities within our organization). If you go in-house, don't settle for a cubicle-type workstation -- demand a closed-door office that fits an image of a professional licensed broker who wears coat&tie or perfectly ironed barong tagalog, don't forget to display your license on the wall, and have your own secretary. By the way, if you lack knowledge-base confidence, read and refer to the Online Library of REIBS.COM -- everything you need is in there, I personally shed sweat to it to make it available for you for free. If you need substantial training, email me and tell me what specific training you need and I'll give you a special one that is tailored to meet your need. If you need quick answer to specific procedure, call me up at 02.5830858, I give free advice over the phone.

By the way, we brokers must find an alternative way to UNITE and CONSOLIDATE! Let's forget that PAREB-REBAP barrier for the time being. Let us boycott the developers who exploit the services of unlicensed agents. Please help me in this advocacy. I recognize that I am just human and I can never win a fight against hundreds of thousands of colorums. I need an army of advocates, young licensed Brokers, I have a lot of advocacy workload for them. For in the end, it is you who will benefit. The least strategic action that you can do that will be much appreciated, more than any kind of contribution, is when you join the fortress of the OML. The REIBS Open OML is good idea where I am putting my action and sacrifices where my mouth is. The customers are excited about the OML, and the colorums are all afraid of it. That's it, maraming paalala.

FINAL WORD. As a nation, as a great nation, let's all bite the bullet and work together to professionalize the real estate industry. Based on what I have read in those thick journals of the congressional hearings, it transpired that our consumers have suffered much already for a very long time because of unprofessional real estate service. The purging season will be long and painful struggle against an entrenched culture of colorum agents. It took us 22 years for this RA 9646 to become a law, and this is the greatest legacy of the honorable licensed brokers in 1987 (same time with the Philippine Constitution during Cory Aquino time). Join the right side now, because in the end, no matter how far, no matter how painful, no matter how difficult the mission is, the law will prevail and I shall see to it that in the soonest time possible, we shall transform the real estate service sector of this country towards professionalism. Oh, this is a big job! How will I do it? I will use technology that allows the natural and invisible hand of an open market to do the job.

John Petalcorin
August 2009

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