Mr. President, it is an honor to present before this chamber Senate Bill No. 2963, under Committee Report No. 232, entitled “An Act Regulating the Practice of Real Estate Service in the Philippines, Creating for the Purpose a Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service, Appropriating Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes.”
Real property is considered as a major resource given its viability as a great financial asset not only of individuals or business groups, but of the government as well. It is the most stable, sustainable, and progressive source of income. Unfortunately, it’s vast potential for greater contribution to our gross domestic income remains to be fully tapped.
Real estate practitioners perform highly technical work which provides the basis for decisions on property sales, expropriations, compensation, mortgage financing, and most importantly in the assessment of taxes. It is for this reason that real estate service practitioners serve a vital role in spearheading the continuous flow of capital, in boosting investor confidence, and in promoting overall national progress.
Because of the importance and value of real property, transactions of this nature are indeed susceptible to manipulation and corruption, especially if they are in the hands of unqualified persons working under an ineffective regulatory system. This is why the real estate practice ought to be regulated through appropriate licensing and the observance of a code of ethics with a defined disciplinary procedure for the protection of the public. It should be provided institutionalized government support to develop a corps of highly respected, technically competent, and disciplined real estate service practitioners, knowledgeable of internationally accepted standards and practice of the profession. The prevailing negative perception of the work of many appraisers and assessors as hardly professional and tainted with various considerations serves as a setback for the growth of the real estate market as a factor for national development.
Presently treated as a trade, and not as a profession, real estate service practitioners are under the supervision of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection (BTRCP), in the exercise of its consumer regulation functions. This setup is not conducive to the growth and proper regulation of this practice given the lack of expertise by the department to properly monitor them.
Verily, this proposed measure seeks to address all of these concerns through the development of a corps of technically competent, responsible and respected real estate service professionals who will provide the stimulus for accelerating the growth of the real property market and enhance its contribution to the social and economic development of the country. It is therefore the desire of this measure to not only strengthen but more so to professionalize the real estate service practice by ensuring that only those qualified are granted authority to practice.
One of the salient features of this measure is the imposition of an entrance examination for all real estate service practitioners including those in the government such as the assessors and appraisers in local government units. Through this examination, the appointment of these local assessors and appraisers will no longer be vulnerable to political persuasion. The improvements that will result from the enactment of this measure will benefit not only the realty industry but more so for the government in terms of revenue generation. Indeed, when the people assessing or appraising real properties are highly competent to perform their tasks, then we can be assured that the proper taxes will be collected.
Needless to say, a professionalized corps of real estate service practitioners will contribute in boosting revenue generation for the government on real-property transactions, develop more confidence in the government valuation system, encourage investment in the real property market, stimulate greater economic activity, and generate more resources for poverty alleviation and development programs.
It is for these reasons that approval of this proposed measure is earnestly requested.