FIGHT VS. REAL ESTATE SCAMS. Housing Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario (4th from left) and representatives of partner agencies launch the National Task Force on Anti-Illegal Real Estate Practice in Quezon City on Saturday (July 18, 2022). The task force aims to end illegal real estate transactions that rob prospective buyers of their hard-earned money. (Photo courtesy of DHSUD-CDMRD)

MANILA – The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) on Monday announced it has created a task force that will boost the fight against illegal real estate operators and “colorum” (unregistered) brokers and agents.

The National Task Force on Anti-Illegal Real Estate Practices will expand measures to stop illegal real estate operations to be implemented through an inter-agency panel led by DHSUD and supported by partner agencies.

Created through Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 Series of 2021, the task force is composed of DHSUD, Department of Justice, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Land Registration Authority, Professional Regulation Commission, Philippine National Police, and National Bureau of Investigation.

“This is a testament to our partnership as we synchronize our efforts to end the fraudulent activities in the housing and real estate industry, hence, protecting homebuyers and helping them in the realization of their dream to acquire decent and affordable homes using their hard-earned money and lifetime savings,” DHSUD Secretary Eduardo del Rosario said in a statement.

The Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards Inc. earlier lamented the proliferation of fake real estate agents and brokers who continue to “unscrupulously dupe” buyers despite a law regulating the practice of real estate service.

During the task force’s launch over the weekend, the member agencies committed “to collaborate and intensify further the cooperation not only in eradicating malpractices in the housing and real estate sector but equally important is protecting home buyers and legitimate developers”.

“DHSUD accepts the challenge to take the lead in this campaign as we fulfill our mandate to protect the rights of buyers of subdivisions and condominium projects, including memorial lots and similar real estate developments,” del Rosario said.

Based on the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board under Presidential Decree No. 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 are obliged to register with the agency before engaging in property selling. (PNA)