Housing ads to undergo review

Original Article from Sun Star Cebu by Jeandie O. Galolo.

AROUND 400 residential projects in Central Visayas are expected to carry out changes in their advertising materials before the year ends, following the new advertisement guidelines issued by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board.

Alixes Roy Lopez, HLURB 7 Director, said his office has received and evaluated 132 projects as of Wednesday. Of the figure, 78 were condominium projects and 54 were subdivisions.

On February 14, 2014, the HLURB, in Resolution 921, revised its implementing rules on advertising subdivision and condominium projects. The resolution prohibits advertisements containing “exaggerated and misleading” statements.

“About 80 percent of advertisement applications were returned due to non-compliance with the revised IRR (implementing rules and regulations) of the advertisement approval,” Lopez said.

Advertisements referred to in the guidelines cover print, broadcast, electronic and out-of-home ads like billboards, banners, tarpaulins, transit ads, and digital displays.

The resolution states that all real estate ads should specify the name of the developer, the exact location of the project, its license to sell (LS) number, the advertisement’s approval number, and the approved completion date as indicated in the LS. For economic and socialized housing projects, a maximum selling price shall also be stated in the ads.

In addition, pictures and illustrations should be “properly captioned” and the ad should state whether these are actual photographs, an architect’s perspective or an artist’s illustration. The project’s location and distance in relation to a or landmark should be expressed in kilometers.

In the case of print ads, the resolution states that the LS number must be of the same font type and size and resolution as the advertisers’ contact number.

HLURB officials said LS number will ensure prospective buyers that they are dealing with legitimate projects.

Advertising future projects not covered by a license to sell is also prohibited.

“These guidelines are being strictly implemented in order to foster greater unity, peace and harmony among the private investors, buyers, and the government,” Lopez said.

HLURB earlier noted the move as a way to enable the public to make an “informed choice,” a form of protection to prospective buyers against fraud and malpractices in the industry.

In Central Visayas, HLURB has created Task Force 921/922, a team composed of seven HLURB officials who will process, evaluate, and approve all applications.

Lopez said the task force, which includes himself, is committed to act on all applications within five working days from the date of submission.

Failure to comply with the new rules are at risk of facing fines, HLURB said.

To ensure compliance, HLURB Arbiter Joe Vinson Empaces previously said the agency will monitor advertisements and will impose “appropriate” sanctions in case the rules are violated or ignored.