Known as the "Subdivision and Condominium Buyers' Protective Decree," Presidential Decree No. 957 issued two sets of revised implementing rules and regulations (IRRs) earlier in 2015.
A bill initiated by former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1976, the decree and its most recent amendments were designed to "protect buyers from fraudulent and unscrupulous subdivision and condominium sellers, operators and developers," according to the explanatory note that accompanied the bill in its senate hearing.
The Subdivision and Housing Developers Association Inc. (SHDA), along with the Organization of Socialized Housing Developers of the Philippines (OSHDP), organized a series of business forums to educate and prepare developers, brokers, and agents regarding the amendments. Three forums have been held so far, since February, with a fourth one scheduled on the 23rd of March.
"It is important for developers including their brokers and agents to know how these new regulations apply to them and at the same time, how to maintain compliance. Indeed, laws and regulations on housing are constantly evolving, that's why getting updated to avoid law suits is important," said Armenia Ballesteros, SHDA president.
"In order to have clear guidance and prevent misinterpretation and ambiguity on the amended IRRs, the [SHDA] and the [OSHDP] arranged a business forum series with HLURB (Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board) Commissioner and CEO lawyer Antonio Bernardo as one of the resource speakers," stated Ballesteros.
"This is also an opportunity to prepare all the HLURB offices in the implementation of these new IRRs. While the amendments took effect on Feb. 14, developers were given until April 15 to comply with the new requirements on ads as well the brokers/dealers/sellers for their registration with the HLURB."
The revised Decree states that advertisments about a project, its operations, and its activities must be factual, and must secure an approval, in the form of a license, from the HLURB before they can be published or disseminated.
According to the revised decree, business firms must register with the HLURB as well. Likewise, brokers and salespersons must be registered, licensed, or accredited by the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service.