File photo from DHSUD

The government has institutionalized its intensive drive and measures against illegal activities related to real estate property and other housing projects in the country.

Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario signed a memorandum of agreement with the representatives of the Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines over the weekend to formalize their partnership for a nationwide crackdown against real estate scammers.

The move is part of the DHSUD’s Special Order No. 2021-002, creating a technical working group (TWG) that will institutionalize the department’s intensified drive on anti-illegal real estate practices.

The DHSUD, along with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, among other national government and law enforcement agencies as well as REBAP will be adopting a whole-government approach to address illicit transactions and other issues in the housing industry.

Del Rosario emphasized the importance of joint efforts to put an end to unlawful activities that victimize homebuyers.

The housing czar also thanked the REBAP for its commitment to propel this advocacy, saying “its national clout is vital to catching real estate scammers.”

“I would like to thank REBAP for their support to our campaign to go after illegal real estate groups who are victimizing our homebuyers, with your help, we can further strengthen our force to go after them and ensure that less and less homebuyers fall prey to their schemes,” he added.

Del Rosario said the help of REBAP “will certainly boost” the department’s campaign against illegal practices within the housing sector.

“We will continue to work with relevant stakeholders in the human settlements and urban development sector to finally put an end to this crime,” he noted.

Under the newly signed pact, the network of broker-members of REBAP will serve as “monitors” of illegal practices and be tasked to submit documentary evidence to the TWG.

The association is tasked to look into sales, leasing, joint ventures, among other related activities of unlicensed/unaccredited/unregistered individuals.

The monitoring team should observe and document violations, as well as secure pieces of evidence such as media posting, defective flyers, and testimonies from the victims.

It will be followed by submission of a narrative report of the violation committed under the Presidential Decree 957 or the Subdivision and Condominium Buyers Protective Decree and Republic Act 9646 or the Real Estate Service Act, and other laws governing the real estate industry.

The findings and documentation will then be submitted to REBAP’s national office for evaluation. Cases with sufficient merits will be forwarded to DHSUD for coordination of legal proceedings and apprehension through the authorized agencies.

The DHSUD reminded anew the public to be vigilant against bogus brokers engaged in illegal real estate transactions.

Based on the Housing and Land use Regulatory Board (HLURB) under Presidential Decree 957, no real estate broker or salesman shall engage in the business of selling subdivision lots or condominium units without being registered.

DHSUD has regulatory power over real estate developers and brokers and salespersons who are obliged to register with the DHSUD before engaging in property selling. (PNA)

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