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Body to boost fight vs. real estate scammers – DHSUD

The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) has created a special body tasked to craft measures to end illegal activities related to real estate property and other housing projects.

Housing czar Sec. Eduardo del Rosario recently signed DHSUD’s Special Order No. 2021-002, creating a technical working group that will institutionalize the department’s intensified drive against real estate scammers through a joint memorandum agreement on anti-illegal real estate practices.

The TWG, headed by DHSUD Undersecretary Meynardo Sabili, will be adopting a whole-government approach as it targets to formulate a Joint Memorandum Circular among stakeholders to address illicit transactions and other issues in the housing industry.

The DHSUD said the TWG is tasked to revisit all laws, rules, and regulations relevant to the prevention and elimination of illegal real estate activities nationwide.

The special body will assess ongoing public campaigns and actions undertaken against unlicensed developers and other bogus brokers or groups, who are operating without legal documents.

The TWG will also initiate a series of consultations with concerned government agencies, private partners, and other stakeholders, to address issues and concerns within the housing sector.

It is also mandated to recommend guidelines to the housing chief executive on the implementation of the JMC provisions upon its execution and perform other duties relevant to the purpose of ending illegal real estate practices in the country.

Del Rosario ordered a nationwide crackdown against real estate scammers in October last year, following persistent reports on illegal activities within the real estate industry.

He noted the need to synchronize efforts in pursuing this campaign.

“We need to put a stop to these illegal activities through institutionalized proactive efforts in collaboration with our stakeholders, national and local government units, law enforcement agencies, including legitimate developers, who are also victims of these scammers,” he said.

Del Rosario then reiterated his call to be vigilant against bogus brokers engaged in illegal real estate transactions.

“We should be relentless in our campaign to protect home buyers and legitimate workers in the real estate industry,” he said.

Based on the Housing and Land use Regulatory Board 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.

The 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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