Below is my counterproposal to Senate Bill 2757 filed on 23 March 2011, which seeks to amend RA 9646, see http://www.senate.gov.ph/lisdata/110789476!.pdf
On Sec 28. (A) Any person, natural or judicial, who shall directly perform by himself/herself the acts mentioned in Section 3 hereof with reference to his/her or its own property [except real estate developers];
MY REACTION: The proposed deletion is acceptable. If the developer himself sells his own property, then he is an FSBO, but the moment he asks an agent to sell it in consideration for a fee then that agent it is already covered by RA 9646.
MY REASON: The in-house agents of the developers are already captured by Sec 32 (B) of RA 9646, although I have a proposed insertion in Section 32 (B):
Sec 32 (B). Divisions, [or] departments, AND BRANCHES of COMPANIES, INCLUDING SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP, partnership and corporation engaged in marketing or selling any real estate development project in the regular course of business must be [headed] MANAGED AND SUPERVISED by full-time registered and licensed real estate brokers. ALL SALESPERSONS SELLING REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS, WHETHER IN-HOUSE EMPLOYEES OR EXTERNAL AGENTS, ARE SUBJECT TO THE REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT IN SECTION 31 OF THIS ACT. BROKERS AND SALESPERSONS ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED TO BE SUBJECTED TO THE ACCREDITATION REQUIREMENT WITH THE HOUSING AND LAND USE REGULATORY BOARD (HLURB).
MY REASON: We can delete the "except real estate developers" clause in Sec 28 but we have to clarify it in Sec 32B that the agents of the developers are covered by the registration requirement of RA 9646. I also want to remove the duplicate registration with HLURB. To harmonize, streamline, and eliminate the redundancy of RA 9646 which is administered by PRC and Article 5 of the PD 957 IRR of 2001 which is being administered by HLURB. Redundancy should be eliminated. It is just another unecessary cost on the part of the broker and salespersons. Besides, I also want to eliminate the bad reputation of the HLURB as it is being perceived as ineffective in its supposed duty to proactively catch those who sell projects without HLURB Registration.
On SEC. 32. (A) No partnership or corporation shall engage in the business of real estate service practice unless it is duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the persons authorized to act for the partnership or corporation are all duly registered and licensed brokers, appraisers or consultants, as the case may be. The partnership or corporation shall regularly submit a list of its real estate service practitioners to the Commission and to SEC as part of its annual reportorial requirements. [There shall be at least one (1) licensed real estate broker for every twenty (20) accredited salespersons.]
MY REACTION: The proposed deletion is acceptable. This clause is an unecessary restriction to the flexibility of teams. Besides, there is no scientific basis on the optimal number of salespersons a broker can supervise effectively, especially in this profession that agents are mostly non-full-time employees.
MY REASON: The 20:1 restriction has no scientific basis and is an unecessary barrier to the job-opportunities.
MY COUNTER PROPOSAL for SEC. 31 For real estate salespersons, no examination shall be given by the Board, but they shall be [accredited by the Board] REGISTERED BY THEIR BROKERS IN THE ACCREDITED AND INTEGRATED PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION OF REAL ESTATE PRACTITIONERS (AIPORESP): Provided, That they have [completed at least two (2) years of college and have] COMPLETED BASIC SEMINAR IN CODE OF ETHICS AND RESPONSIBILITIES, REAL ESTATE SERVICE ACT AND ITS IRR, AND PRESIDENTIAL DECREE 957 AND ITS IRR, REALTY INSTALLMENT BUYER PROTECTION ACT, AND OTHER LAWS, RESOLUTIONS, AND ORDINANCES RELEVANT TO REAL ESTATE, WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO THE ADDITIONAL TRAINING THAT MAY BE REQUIRED BY THE SUPERVISING BROKER. THE REQUIRED SALESPERSON SEMINAR MAY BE CONDUCTED BY AN INDEPENDENT TRAINING SERVICE PROVIDER THAT IS ACCREDITED WITH THE AIPORESP OR MAY BE CONDUCTED PERSONALLY BY ANY BROKER, THE CHOICE OF WHICH IS SUBJECT TO THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE SUPERVISING BROKER. ALL LICENSED BROKERS ARE AUTOMATICALLY AUTHORIZED TO CONDUCT SEMINAR AND TRAINING FOR SALESPERSONS AND FELLOW BROKERS AND PROVIDE PROPER CERTIFICATE WITH CORRESPONDING CPE CREDIT HOURS.
Should the clause "they have completed at least 2 years of college" be deleted as requirement for salespersons as stipulated in RA9646 Sec 31? YES, on the condition that the administration of Salesperson Registration will be transferred from PRC to AIPORESP. It would diminutize the prestige of the word "professional" if 2nd-graders are already able to get Professional Cards from PRC. Salespersons are employees of Brokers, they are not independent professionals, they are under the jurisdiction of Brokers and the most appropriate venue of their registration is AIPORESP not PRC. PRC can render better licensing services to the "real" professionals if their customer base does not include the huge number of salespersons.
To accomodate this, Powers and Functions of the Board (PRB-RES) must be amended. Section 5 (Q) must be entirely deleted.
[Sec 5 (Q) Screen, issue and monitor permits to organizations of real estate professionals in the conduct of seminars and accredit such seminars pursuant to the CPE program, as well as the instructors or lecturers therein, for the purpose of upgrading the quality and knowledge of the profession;]
MY REASON: Salespersons are employees of the "professionals". They shouldn't be regulated by the Professional Regulations Commission. The reason why the Salespersons are to be registered is to avoid conflict among Brokers with regards to exclusivity of Salespersons. The most appropriate registry of the Salespersons is the AIPORESP, not the PRC. Besides, if a Salesperson who only finished grade-3 will be able to get a Professional status in PRC, it would diminutize the prestige of the word "Professional".
The Brokers have supervision responsibility and accountability of their own salespersons, which is basically management function. Training is extremely relevant to successful operation of a Broker's Team, and staff training is part of the fundamental managerial and leadership function of the Broker. How and where the training will be conducted should be an exclusive discretion of the Broker, and it cannot be exposed with competitors because there may be substance in the training that are classified as business secret and strategy.
Brokers are professionals, it is safe to assume that they have technical expertise to conduct training for their own staff. Another very important thing to consider that is very vital in the survival of the Broker is the training cost, which is a business decision of the Broker, meaning, he should be able to choose to do the training by himself to cut cost (sariling sikap para makatipid). Allowing Brokers to conduct training for other brokers, or their salespersons, will also help the Trainor Broker earn alternative livelihood.
We also need to automaticcally authorize the Brokers to conduct training to facilitate the "sharing" (which is mandated by the Section 4H of the soon-to-be amended Code of Ethics which says "The practitioner should willingly share with them the lessons of his experience and study") of experiences in the field, lessons learned from special trainings abroad and in the internet, good practices, technology, innovation, and new techniques accross the practitioners. Moreover, teaching also enhances the personal development of the Broker. Myself as a pro bono online real estate service coach, I always tell my students, "Teaching teaches the teacher more than the students". It is most important that Brokers should be treated as professionals and automatically authorized to train their own salespersons, just like the Engineers, Lawyers, Architects, Mathematicians, etc who can teach in Universities.
The Section 5 (Q) has been existing already since the time of DTI jurisdiction over the real estate service practice and I believe the restriction has given bad results instead or good. This restriction has been an unecessary barrier of educational freedom and hampered the improvement of real estate learning. Through the years, the CPEs are almost similar to the CRESR, nothing new to learn, and it has been proven to be full of intrigues such as bribery, absentee students, proxy participants. Attemps of DTI to monitor the CPEs have never been effective in the past due to lack of personnel, and the same fate is what we expect now that we are already in the PRC. Although the corruption is known to the members of the organizations, they can't police its own ranks because they are not empowered, it is used to be DTI who handles it (and now PRC). Unless the government is willing to hire hundreds of employees in PRC who will monitor the CPEs sincerely, the PRC can never meet the challenge of the huge administration workload of screening, monitoring, and issuing permits. So we might as well liberalize it and empower the Professionals. Anyway, it is the Broker who will suffer the consequences if he/she will not train his/her Salespersons properly.
There is no need to submit to PRC the generic training module for BASIC SEMINAR IN CODE OF ETHICS AND RESPONSIBILITIES, REAL ESTATE SERVICE ACT AND ITS IRR, AND PRESIDENTIAL DECREE 957 AND ITS IRR, REALTY INSTALLMENT BUYER PROTECTION ACT, AND OTHER LAWS, RESOLUTIONS, AND ORDINANCES RELEVANT TO REAL ESTATE, because these are obviously public documents.
Let us also help cultivate those kind of training modules that we classify as high-value, unique, and original. To achieve this, Sec 5 (Q) has to be deleted because no trainor with an original educational module would be willing to expose to the PRC a copy of his/her unique training module which is his copyright. Regarding complaints on integrity and quality issues in conducting CPE, these can best be handled at the level of the AIPORESP, not PRC -- the AIPORESP will just recommend its investigation result to PRC for implemetation of sanctions on against the malpracticing licensed practitioner.
Rltr. JOHN REMOLLO PETALCORIN