• Property watchdog calls for licensure easing

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    An easing in the education requirements of real estate sales persons is needed to continue the growth of the country’s real estate industry, an official of a real estate group said.

    During the Real Estate Service Act (RESA) Forum organized by the Chamber of Real Estate & Builders Inc., (CREBA) on Friday, Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service (PRBRES) Chairman Eduardo Ong emphasized that there should be an easing of requirements for those taking the Real Estate Broker’s exam administered by the Philippine Regulatory Commission (PRC).

    Under the RESA law, PRBRES was mandated to work with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to prescribe the essential requirements for the curricula and facilities of schools offering academic courses related to real estate.

    In 2011, under CHED Memoradum order 28 series of 2011, the Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Management (BS REM) was approved, to be effective in 2012.

    Based on the RESA law, only those who are graduates of the BS REM course will be allowed to take the Real Estate Brokers Licensure Examination, as the law lists one of its requirements for taking the licensure exam as “A holder of a relevant bachelor’s degree from a state university or college, or other educational institution duly recognized by the CHED: Provided, That as soon as a course leading to a Bachelor’s degree in Real Estate Service is implemented by the CHED, the Board shall make this course a requirement for taking the “licensure examination.”

    Ong said that if the law were strictly followed, only graduates of the BS REM program would be allowed to take the licensure exam next May, as it has already been four years since CHED accredited the program.

    “If we follow the law strictly, we will not be able to accept graduates of any non-BS REM to take the licensure exam, “ Ong said.

    He added that there are only 20 schools offering the BS REM program, while there are about 30 trying to apply for it. This would lead to about 50 schools offering the program by the end of the year.

    Ong noted that presently there are only 61 graduates of the BS REM program.

    “If we will fully implement the law, only 61 will be qualified to take the exam. What about those who did not pass the February 28 licensure exam? Will they be allowed to retake?” Ong said.

    Ong said only 56.2 percent of those who took the licensure exam last February 28 passed, leaving more than four thousand individuals as non-passers.

    Ong noted that the PRBRES has approved the motion to allow non-BS REM graduates to take the licensure exam, but the board needs to get the approval of the PRC.

    “The board approved the allowance, but the commission is still thinking about it. Whatever the board does, it has to go through the commission—it has to be approved by the commission, “ Ong said.

    He added that he was told by the commission to seek approval from CHED.

    “What about the 4,000-plus who did not pass? Will we leave them astray? What about others who did not take the exam? So we are seeking approval from CHED,” Ong expressed.

    “We cannot prevent, we cannot hinder the growth and the development of the profession,” Ong concluded.

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