By: Arwen Pascua
MANILA — To strengthen its ongoing campaign against real estate scammers, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) has formed a special body tasked to craft pro-active steps to end illegal activities in the housing industry.
Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario on January 11 signed DHSUD’s Special Order No. 2021-002, creating a Technical Working Group (TWG) to institutionalize the department’s intensified drive against real estate scammers through a Joint Memorandum Agreement on Anti-Illegal Real Estate Practices.
Headed by Undersecretary Meynardo Sabili, the TWG primarily aims to formulate a Joint Memorandum Circular among stakeholder-agencies for a whole-government approach to address the illicit activities in the real estate sector.
The TWG is tasked to revisit all laws, rules, and regulations relevant to the prevention and elimination of illegal real estate activities nationwide; assess ongoing public campaigns and actions taken against individuals or groups engaged in such unlawful practices; undertake consultations with concerned government departments and agencies as well as other stakeholders, and find alternative solutions to address the problem.
It is also mandated to recommend guidelines to the Secretary 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.
It will be recalled that Secretary Del Rosario ordered a nationwide crackdown against real estate scammers last October following persistent reports about illegal activities in the real estate industry.
“We need to put a stop to these illegal activities through institutionalized pro-active efforts in collaboration with our stakeholders, national and local government units, law enforcement agencies, including legitimate developers, who are also victims of these scammers,” the housing czar stressed.
Secretary Del Rosario reiterated the need for synchronized efforts with other government agencies, particularly law enforcement units, in pursuing the campaign.
“We should be relentless in our campaign to protect home buyers and legitimate workers in the real estate industry,” Secretary Del Rosario vowed as he urged all stakeholders to unite in combating these illegal activities.
Under Presidential Decree 957, no real estate dealer, broker, and salesperson shall engage in the business of selling subdivision lots or condominium units without DHSUD registration which has regulatory power over real estate developers, dealers, brokers, and salespersons. (AI/MTVN)