Implement the law, follow the required BSREM Degree for Real Estate Service Exams
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Section 14, paragraph b, of Republic Act No. 9646, otherwise known as the Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines states,"...as soon as a course leading to a Bachelor's Degree in Real Estate Service is implemented by CHED, the Board shall make this course a requirement for taking the licensure examination."
CHED implemented the BSREM Program starting the School Year 2012-2013. The various colleges, schools, and universities in the entire Philippines faithfully complied with and implemented the BSREM Program as mandated by CHED. It was not an easy task, the educational institutions implementing the program struggled to attract students. There were only a few graduates for the first batch of BSREM students in 2015. As a result, only a few BSREM graduates took the brokerage exam in May 2016 (39 takers with 21 passers) and appraisers exam in August 2016 (27 takers with 21 passers). In May 2017, the number of takers improved to 50 BSREM graduates.
However, these gains and the momentum of the BSREM Program is now placed in serious jeopardy because the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service has passed Resolution No. 171, series of 2017, allowing non-BSREM graduates to retake the brokerage and appraisers exam on September 2017 and December 2017, respectively. This resolution was approved by the PRC on July 28, 2017.
In the annals of our legal system, the rules of statutory construction provides that if the law is clear, there is no ambiguity, and therefore, what is left is to implement the law. RA No. 9646 states clearly, the BSREM Degree should be made by the Board of Real Estate Service as a requirement for the real estate exams. By relaxing this requirement, the Board of Real Estate Service is making an exemption when none is stated in the law. In fact, the Board, whose authority emanates from the law, implemented this provision of the law when it give the non-BSREM REM graduates the last and final chance to take the brokerage and appraisers exam through Resolutions No. 66, series of 2016 and No. 2 series of 2016.
It is well-established in our jurisprudence that the spring cannot rise above its source. The source of the authority of the Board is RA No. 9646, This law stated clearly the BSREM Degree requirement for the real estate exams. Naturally, it begs the question, what was the basis of the Board in relaxing the requirement when the law stated clearly the requirement?
Moreover, in a letter dated July 11, 2017, Commissioner Yolanda Reyes replied to a certain review provider's request to allow non-BSREM graduate to take the brokerage and appraisers exam that "all stakeholders of the profession will be notified once the said Resolution is acted upon by the Board and ultimately by the Commission."
We take the academe, as among the stakeholders. However, to date, the academe has not been consulted on this matter. Since we, at the academe are the faithful implementors of the CHED-mandated BSREM Program, we ought to be included in the consultation process.
The issues put squarely are as follows:
1. For what purpose did RA No. 9646 come into being, requiring the BSREM Degree as a requirement for the real estate exams and yet this is not implemented?
2. For what purpose did the academe complied with the CHED-mandated BSREM Program, investing time and effort, all in the hope of producing qualified BSREM graduates to take the real estate exams and yet the law is not implemented?
3. Why should the current BSREM students now continue to take the program when non-BSREM graduates can take the real estate exams, anyway.
We are a nation of rule of law. We believe in professionalizing the real estate service which is the very aim of RA No. 9646. We believe that the academe must be heard in the consultation process on matters related to the BSREM Program. We believe, most of all, in fairness to our BSREM students who are now demoralized because they are heavily invested in the BSREM Program and yet non-BSREM graduates are allowed to take the real estate exams.
Professionalize the real estate service, implement the law, require the BSREM Degree for taking the real estate exams.
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