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[ HLURB ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 01, S. 2018, March 23, 2018 ]


Adopted: 12 January 2018
Date Filed: 23 March 2018

Attached herewith is HLURB Board Resolution No. R-963, Series of 2017, Revised Rules of Proceedings Before Regional Arbiters, approved by the Board on 07 December 2017.

The said Board Resolution  was published in The Philippine Star, today, 12
January 2018, and in accordance  with the pertinent provisions  of law, will take effect fifteen (15) days from its date of publication, on 27 January 2018.

Please be guided accordingly.

Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner


Board Resolution No. 963
Series of 2017

PURSUANT  TO  Section  5  (c)  and  (j),  Executive  Order  No.  648,  Series  of  1981,  as amended  by  Executive  Order  No.  90,  Series  of  1986,  and  Executive  Order  No.  535, Series of 1979, as amended  by Section 26 of Republic  Act No. 8763, and Republic  Act No. 9904, and in revision of Board Resolution No. 877, Series of 2011, the Board of Commissioners of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board hereby adopts and promulgates the following:


Rule 1

Section  1.  Title.  – This  Rules  shall  be  known  as  “The  Revised  Rules  of  Proceedings
Before Regional Arbiters.”

Section 2. Objectives. – The objectives of this Rules are:
2.1  To protect and promote the constitutional right of persons to the speedy disposition of their cases;
2.2  To provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the resolution of cases;
2.3  To  streamline  the  adjudicatory  processes  to  provide  immediate  response  to  the grievances of the citizenry;
2.4  To introduce innovations and best practices for the benefit of the underprivileged.
Section  3. Definition of Terms. – For purposes of this Rule:
3.1      Actionable  document  refers to the document  upon which the action or defense  is based.

3.2      Affidavit  refers  to  a  written  statement  or  declaration  of  facts  that  are  sworn  or affirmed to be true before a person authorized to administer the oath.

3.3      Arbiter  refers  to the officer  authorized  by law, rules and regulations  to take hear and resolve disputes  filed in accordance  with this Rules. By designation,  Arbiters may either be –
3.3.1   Regional  Arbiter  who exercises  jurisdiction  within the territorial  boundaries of the Regional Field Office to which he/she is assigned, or

3.3.2   LSG  Arbiters  who  exercises  the  same  functions  as  the  Regional  Arbiter except that they are not bound by the confines of the territorial jurisdiction of any  Regional  Field  Office  and  hears  and  decides  cases  only  when  the Regional Arbiter has recused or to assist in the disposition of cases pending before the Regional Field Offices.
3.4      Counterclaim  refers to the retaliatory claim by a respondent  against a complainant intending  to off-set  and/or  reduce  the amount  of the complainant's  original  claim against the respondent.
3.5      Crossclaim  refers  to a claim  made  by a respondent  against  another  respondent arising out of the transaction which is the subject matter of the complaint or counterclaim.

3.6      Election Contest refers to any controversy  or dispute involving title or claim to any elective office in a homeowners association, the validation of initiatives, referendum or plebiscite, the validation of proxies, the manner and validity of elections, and the qualifications of voters and candidates, including the proclamation of winners and assumption  to  the  office  of  directors,  trustees  or  other  officers  elected  by  the members where the articles of incorporation or by-laws so provide.

3.7      Good cause refers to circumstances  sufficient to justify the requested order or other action, as determined by the Arbiter.
3.8      Legal  Services  Group  (LSG)  refers  to  the  division  to  the  Central  Office  which functions as the legal arm of the HLURB tasked with rendering legal opinions, legal assistance  to the public, conduct mediation  proceedings  and resolve cases where the Arbiter has recused.

3.9      Pleadings refers to written statements of the respective claims and defenses of the parties  submitted  for appropriate  judgment.  The pleadings  allowed  by this Rules are:

3.9.1   Complaint  refers  to the formal  legal document  that sets out the facts and legal reasons that the complainant  believes are sufficient to support a claim against the respondent and the remedy or relief which is within the power of the Arbiter to grant.
3.9.2   Answer refers to the formal legal document that sets out the facts and legal reasons that the respondent  believes are sufficient to support the defenses against the claims of the complainant.
3.9.3   Motion refers to a party’s request, written or oral, formal or informal, to the
Arbiter for an order or any other action.
3.9.4   Position Papers refers to pleadings submitted by the parties stating the case and facts, as supported by the evidence, and the issues and arguments in support of their cause/s of action or defense/s.

3.10    Parties refer to persons who have either instituted the proceedings  or are required to defend against it, or any other party interested in the avails thereof and may be natural  or  juridical,  with  legal  personality  to  sue  and  be  sued.  The  parties  to proceedings are:

3.10.1    Complainant refers to the party who initiated the action and includes a respondent  who  has  filed  a counter-complaint   against  the  complainant insofar as such counterclaim is concerned.
3.10.2     Respondent  refers to the party against whom the complainant  has been filed, and includes a complainant  against whom a respondent  has filed a counterclaim  and/or a cross-complainant  who has filed a cross-complaint against a co-respondent.

3.11    Verification refers to the written oath taken by a party before a person authorized to administer the oath establishing  the truth, accuracy, validity and authenticity  of the allegations of facts and documents.
Section 4. Construction and Applicability. – This Rules shall be liberally construed towards the accomplishment  of its objectives  and shall apply to all proceedings  where jurisdiction is vested on the Arbiters, except to the orders of the Regional Field Officer in the exercise of regulatory jurisdiction which are directly appealable to the Board of Commissioners.

The 2011 Housing and Land Use Regulatory  Board Rules of Procedure and the Rules of Court  shall  have  suppletory   application   insofar  as  these  have  not  been  specifically repealed or are not inconsistent with this Rules.

Rule 2

Section   5.  General   jurisdiction.   –  Arbiters   have  exclusive   jurisdiction   over  disputes involving  laws being implemented  by the Housing  and Land Use Regulatory  Board  and such other cases as may be provided by law unless specifically vested in another tribunal.

Section 6. Specific Jurisdiction.
6.1  Jurisdiction over real estate developments. The Arbiters shall exercise exclusive and original jurisdiction to hear and decide cases involving subdivisions, condominiums, memorial parks and similar real estate developments, as follows:

6.1.1   Claims for refund, complaints  against unsound real estate business practices and  other   actions   for  specific   performance   of  contractual   and  statutory obligations  filed  by  subdivision  lot  or  condominium   unit  buyer  against  the project owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesman; and other complaints for violation of Presidential Decree No. 957 and other related laws;

6.1.2   Suits  filed  in  opposition  to  an  application  for  certificate  of  registration  and
license to sell, development permits for condominium projects, clearance to mortgage, or the revocation or cancellation thereof, and locational clearances, certifications   or   permits,   when   issued   by   the   Housing   and   Land   Use Regulatory Board;
6.1.3   Suits   filed   by   the   project   owner   or   developer   or   the   duly   registered homeowners   association   of  the  project  pertaining  to  the  open  spaces  or common  areas of the subdivision  or condominium,  except  those where  third parties are involved; and,
6.1.4   Disputes involving easements within or among subdivisions projects.
6.2  Jurisdiction   over  homeowners   and  homeowners   associations.   The  Arbiters  shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide cases involving homeowners associations, as follows:
6.2.1   Suits filed in opposition to an application for, or the revocation of, certificate of registration of homeowners associations;

6.2.2   Intra-association  disputes or controversies  arising out of the relations between and among members of homeowners associations; between any or all of them and  the  homeowners   association   of  which  they  are  members,   including federations and other umbrella organizations of homeowners associations;

6.2.3   Inter-association  disputes or controversies  arising out of the relations between and  among  two  or  more  homeowners  associations  or  condominium corporations, federations or other umbrella organizations of homeowners associations;

6.2.4   Disputes  or controversies  between  the  association  and  the  homeowners  or
other beneficial users relating to the exercise of their respective  rights, duties and obligations;

6.2.5  Disputes between the homeowners association and the State, insofar as its registration or right to exist and those which are intrinsically connected with the regulation of homeowners associations.
Section 7. Powers. – For the effective exercise of jurisdiction, the Arbiter shall have the following powers:
7.1  To hear and decide cases cognizable by HLURB consistent with this Rules;

7.2  To  issue   cease   and   desist   orders   or  writs   of  preliminary   injunction,   whether prohibitory or mandatory, in all cases in which it has jurisdiction;

7.3  To punish  for contempt,  both  direct  and  indirect,  in accordance  with  the  pertinent provisions of, and penalties prescribed by, the Rules of Court;

7.4  To   issue   subpoena   duces   tecum   and   summon   witnesses   to   appear   in   any proceedings  and in appropriate  cases order search and seizure or cause the search and seizure of all documents, papers, files and records as well as books of accounts of  any  entity  or  person  under  investigation  as  may  be  necessary  for  the  proper disposition of the cases before it;

7.5  To  impose  fines  and/or  penalties  for  violation  of  the  laws,  rules  and  regulations, orders, decisions and/or rulings;

7.6  To suspend, or revoke, after proper notice and hearing, the certificate of registration and/or license to sell upon any of the grounds as provided by law, including –
7.6.1   Fraud in procuring its certificate of registration;
7.6.2   Serious misrepresentation  as to what the legal entity can do or is doing to the great prejudice of or damage to the general public;
7.6.3  Refusal to comply or defiance of any lawful order of the HLURB restraining commission of acts which would amount to a grave violation of its registration;
7.7  To exercise such other powers as implied, necessary or incidental to the carrying out the express powers granted to the Board or to achieve the objectives and purposes of the exercise of jurisdiction.
Section  8. Inhibition  of the Arbiter.  – The Arbiter may recuse from resolving  the dispute under the following:

8.1  Grounds.
8.1.1   Mandatory   Inhibition.   The   Arbiter   shall   mandatorily   inhibit   when   his/her spouse, child or relative within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity, is directly  or indirectly  interested  in the subject  of the litigation,  or is related  to either of the parties or their counsel within the sixth degree of consanguinity  or affinity; or has participated as counsel in the same case.

8.1.2   Discretionary   Inhibition.  The  Arbiter  may  inhibit  from  handling  a  case  by issuing an order stating any other justifiable grounds.
8.2  Procedure.  In case of mandatory  recusation,  the Arbiter shall, motu propio or upon motion,  recuse  from the proceedings.  In case of discretionary  recusation,  the party seeking  the inhibition  of an Arbiter  shall file a motion  stating  the grounds  with the evidence in support thereof, which shall be resolved by the Arbiter within a period of five (5) days from receipt.

8.3  Reassignment  of Cases.  In case the Arbiter  inhibits  from hearing  or adjudicating  a case,  the  Regional  Field  Officer  shall  reassign  the  case  to another  Arbiter.  In the absence of other Arbiters in the Regional Field Office, the records of the case shall be transmitted to the LSG in accordance with the succeeding Section.

Section 9. Procedure  in Cases Referred  to the Legal Services  Group. – In cases where the case has been referred to the LSG either because the Regional Field Office does not have an Arbiter, or the Arbiter or Arbiters have inhibited, the Head of the Monitoring and Adjudication Division, unless likewise designated as an Arbiter, shall perform the functions of  an  Arbiter  except  to  decide  the  case,  to  issue  cease  and  desist  orders  and  other provisional remedies and to cite parties in contempt which shall be performed by the LSG.

When  the  parties  have  filed  their  respective  position  papers  or  the  case  is  deemed submitted for resolution, the Regional Field Officer shall, within five (5) days therefrom and with notice to the parties, transmit the records of the case to the LSG for resolution.

The Director of the LSG shall, within three (3) days from receipt thereof, assign the case to  an  LSG  Arbiter  who  shall  resolve  the  case  within  a period  of  sixty  (60)  days  from assignment, unless the LSG Arbiter deems it proper to conduct an ocular inspection or clarificatory  hearing at the Regional Office with the approval of the LSG Director. In such instance, the case shall be resolved within a period of sixty (60) days from the date of completion of the said proceedings.

After  the  resolution  of  the  case  by  the  LSG  Arbiter,  the  records  of  the  case  shall  be remanded to the Regional Field Office of origin for the release and service of the judgment to the parties.

Rule 3

Section 10. Commencement.  – An action is commenced  by filing with the Regional Field Office an accomplished  and verified Complaint  (HLURB  Case Form No. 01) in duplicate and  as  many  copies   as  there  are  respondents   and  the  documents   stated  in  the succeeding section.

In  case  the  complainant  resides  outside  of  the  Philippines,  a  special  power  attorney (HLURB Form No. 06) shall be required to authorize a resident of the Philippines to file the said complaint and represent the complainant in all proceedings.

Section 11. Documentary  Attachments.  – The documents  required  to be attached  to the
Complaint are:
11.1    Certified   Documents.   All  private   documents   required   to  be  attached   to  the Complaint shall be certified by the signature of the complainant or respondent concerned.  All public or official documents  shall be certified as true and correct by the custodian thereof.

11.2    Affidavits.  The affidavits  submitted  under this Rule shall state only facts of direct personal  knowledge  of  the  affiants  or  based  on  authentic  records,  which  are admissible  in evidence. A violation of this requirement  shall subject the party, and the counsel who assisted the party in the preparation of the affidavits, if any, to appropriate disciplinary action.
No actionable document or affidavit shall be allowed to be attached to the Position Paper nor shall the Draft Decision  cite any document  or fact which has not been submitted  or alleged in the affidavit/s attached to the Complaint  form, unless good cause is shown for the admission thereof.

Section 12. Additional Requirements for Homeowners Associations. – In cases involving homeowners associations, the Complaint shall additionally attach the certification of the Grievance Committee that the case has undergone mediation in instances where this is mandatory,  or,  in  the  case  of  elections,  that  the  election  protest  has  been  filed  and resolved by the Election Committee. The Complaint shall be filed within ten (10) days from receipt of the resolution of the Grievance Committee or the Election Committee.

In cases where there is no duly constituted  Grievance Committee  or Election Committee, or that the said Committees have failed to resolve the dispute within ten (10) days from inception   of  the  grievance   or  election   protest,   the  complainant   shall  attach  to  the Complaint an affidavit attesting to such fact.

Section  13.  Venue.  – The  Complaint  may  be filed  in the  Regional  Field  Office  having jurisdiction  over the residence of the complainant,  or at the principal place of business of the respondent,  or where the project involved is located, at the option of the complainant. However, in cases involving homeowners  associations,  the venue of the action shall be in the Regional Field Office which has jurisdiction over the location of the homeowners association.   The  Complaint  shall  not  be  dismissed  for  improper  venue  but  shall  be referred to the appropriate Regional Field Office where venue properly lies.

Section 14. Joinder of Claims and Complainants.  – The complainant  may join in a single complaint one or more separate claims against a respondent and/or several complainants may join against the same respondent.

Section  15. Payment  of Filing Fees. – The complainant  shall pay the prescribed  docket and other legal fees. Failure to pay the prescribed  fees is jurisdictional  and will result in the dismissal of the complaint without prejudice.

A  complaint  filed  with  a  motion  to  sue  as  indigent  (HLURB  Case  No.  04)  shall  be immediately  referred  to the Regional  Field  Officer  for the determination  of whether  the movant is qualified to sue as an indigent. If the motion is granted, the case shall be raffled in  case  the  Regional  Field  Office  has  multiple  Arbiters.  If  the  motion  is  denied,  the complainant  shall be given five (5) days within which to pay the docket fees, otherwise, the case shall be dismissed without prejudice.

In no case shall a party, even if declared an indigent, be exempt from the payment of the prescribed fees for the service of summons and other processes.

Section  16.  Dismissal.   –  Upon  receipt  of  the  Complaint,   the  Arbiter  may,  from  an examination  of the allegations  of the Complaint and documents  attached thereto, dismiss the  Complaint  outright  on  the  ground  of  lack  of  jurisdiction.  The  Arbiter  may  likewise dismiss the Complaint at any time during the proceedings  when there exists a ground for dismissal of the Complaint even if not pleaded in the Answer.

Rule 4

Section 17. Summons and Notice of Mandatory Conference.
17.1    Issuance. If no ground for dismissal is found, the Arbiter shall issue Summons and Notice  of  Mandatory  Conference   (HLURB  Case  Form  No.  02)  within  five  (5) working days from the date of the filing of the Complaint.
17.2    Summons. The Summons shall be accompanied by a copy of the Complaint and all
supporting  documents,  and  the  Answer  form  (HLURB  Case  Form  No.  03)  and furnished the respondent through personal service or by registered mail.
17.3    Notice of Mandatory  Conference.  The Notice of Mandatory  Conference  shall also be attached to the Summons,  providing  for two (2) dates which shall not be more than ten (10) working days apart, with the last date not more than sixty (60) days from the date of issuance of the notice.
Section 18. Answer.
18.1    Period.  The respondent  shall  file duplicate  copies  of the duly  accomplished  and verified Answer form (HLURB Form No. 3) with the Arbiter and serve copies thereof to the complainant  within a non-extendible  period of ten (10) days from receipt of the summons.

18.2    Annexes.  The  Answer  form  shall  be  accompanied   by  certified  photocopies   of actionable  document/s  and affidavit/s  in support of the defense/s,  or any counterclaim/s   or  crossclaim/s.   No  actionable   document   or  affidavit   shall  be allowed to be attached to the Position Paper nor shall the Draft Decision cite any document  or  fact  which  has  not  been  submitted   or  alleged  in  the  affidavit/s attached  to  the  Answer  form,  unless  good  cause  is  shown  for  the  admission thereof.

18.3    Motions Disallowed. Any other motion or petitions apart from the said form Answer shall not be entertained and any ground for the dismissal of the complaint must be pleaded in the Answer.

18.4    Effect of Failure. Should the respondent  fail to file the Answer within the required period, the Arbiter shall render judgment, as may be warranted by the evidence of the complainant in the Complaint and the documents attached thereto.
Section 19. Counterclaims. 
19.1   Compulsory Counterclaim. The respondent may file a counterclaim against the complainant  if, at the time the action is commenced,  the respondent  possesses  a claim against  the complainant  that: (1) is within the jurisdiction  of the Arbiter;  (2) arises out of the same transaction or event that is the subject matter of the complainant’s  claim;  (3) does  not  require  for its adjudication  the  joinder  of third parties; and, (4) it is not the subject of another pending action. The failure of the respondent to file the counterclaim together with the filing of the Answer shall be considered as the waiver thereof.

19.2    Permissive  Counterclaim.  The  respondent  may  also  elect  to  file  a counterclaim against  the  complainant   that  does  not  arise  out  of  the  same  transaction   or occurrence, provided that the nature thereof is within the coverage of this Rule and the prescribed docket and other legal fees are paid. The claim is deemed admitted upon payment of the filing fees.
Section 20. Crossclaim.  – The respondent  may file a crossclaim  against a co-respondent under the same circumstances  as the filing of the counterclaim,  including the payment of filing fees. The respondent shall use the same Complaint form for the crossclaim and shall be attached to the Answer. The failure of the respondent  to file a crossclaim  with all the said conditions shall constitute a waiver thereof. The cross-respondent  shall have five (5) days from receipt of the crossclaim within which to file the Answer thereto.

Rule 5

Section 21. Mandatory Conference.
21.1    First day proceedings: The Arbiter or his/her Assistant shall proceed, in an informal and  expeditious   manner,  to  define  and  simplify  the  issues,  the  possibility   of entering into admissions  or stipulations  of facts, and the submission  by the parties of  additional  documentary  evidence.  Thereafter,  the  Arbiter  or  his/her  Assistant shall conduct mediation/conciliation proceedings or refer the parties to a mediator/conciliator  for  the  purpose  of  exploring  the  possibility  of  reaching  an amicable settlement of the controversy.

If, for any reason, the period within which to file the Answer has not expired at the time of the conduct of the first date set for the mandatory  conference,  the Arbiter shall  interview  and  put  in  writing  the  defenses  of  the  respondent  who  shall  be required to sign the same, which shall stand as the Answer, and thereafter, the proceedings shall proceed.

21.2    Second  day proceedings.  If the parties  agree  to amicably  settle  the dispute,  the Arbiter  or his/her  Assistant  shall  require  the parties  to execute  a joint  motion  to dismiss (HLURB  Case Form No. 07), in case all claims have been satisfied,  or a motion to approve compromise agreement (HURB Case Form No. 08), in the event that  there  are  matters  which  will  be  settled  at  a future  date.  Immediately  upon receipt of either pleading, the Arbiter shall issue an Order dismissing the case or approving the compromise agreement (HLURB Case Form No. 09).
If no amicable settlement is reached, the Arbiter or his/her Assistant shall proceed to put on the record of the proceedings  the submission  of the position papers and draft  decisions  of  the  parties.  Motions  for  extension  of  time  to  file  the  position papers, for whatever reason, shall not be entertained.
Section 22. Appearance of Parties.
22.1    Personal   Appearance.   Natural   persons   shall   be   physically   present   on   the designated   dates   of  the   mandatory   conference   while   juridical   persons   may authorize any officer who should be armed with the authorizing Board Resolution.

22.2    Postponements.  Postponements  shall  not be allowed.  If the litigant  is unable  to attend either or both of the two (2) dates set for the Mandatory Conference, the absentee shall appoint a representative who shall submit to the Arbiter, or his/her Assistant,  and  the  other  party,  a  duly  accomplished  special  power  of  attorney (HLURB Case Form No. 05) and proof of the physical inability of the represented party to attend the conference.

22.3    Effects of Non-Appearance.
22.3.1     The failure of the complainant  to appear shall be cause for the dismissal of  the  complaint  with  prejudice.  The  respondent  who  appears  in  the absence   of  the   complainant   shall   be   entitled   to   judgment   on   the counterclaim as supported by the documents attached to the Answer.

22.3.2     Failure of the respondent  to appear shall have the same effect as failure
to file an Answer. This Rule shall not apply where one or more of two or more respondents  who are sued under  a common  cause  of action  and have pleaded a common defense appears at the conference.

22.3.3     Failure of both parties to appear shall cause the dismissal with prejudice of both the complaint and the counterclaim.
Section  23. Compromise  Agreement  and Judgment  Upon  Compromise.  – If the parties agree to a settlement,  the agreement  shall be reduced  to writing,  signed  by the parties and  attested  to  by  the  Mediator/Conciliator,  who  shall  return  the  case  to  the  Arbiter together with the compromise agreement (HLURB Case Form No. 08). The Arbiter shall forthwith  render  judgment  based  on the compromise  agreement  (HLURB  Form  No. 09) which shall be immediately final and executory.

Section 24. Position Papers.
24.1    When filed. The parties  shall file their position  papers  on the second  date of the
Mandatory Conference as stated in the Notice of Mandatory Conference.

24.2    Contents. The position paper shall contain the following:
24.2.1     Statement  of Facts: Narration of the facts in a chronological  and concise manner with reference to the affidavits and documents attached to the Complaint and Answer;

24.2.2     Statement  of the Issues: The restatement  of the issues for resolution  as
agreed upon during the Mandatory Conference;

24.2.3     Grounds: One sentence statement on each of the grounds relied upon to support the claim or defense;

24.2.4     Arguments/Discussion: Legal conclusions based on the facts alleged with appropriate   citations  from  primary  -  laws,  rules  and  regulations   -  or secondary sources - jurisprudence; and,

24.2.5     Prayer/Relief: Statement of the reliefs sought to be granted by the Arbiter.
24.3    Documents  Attached.  Additional  documents  or affidavits  of witnesses  which  will support the claim or defense,  except actionable  documents  which are required  to be attached to the Complaint or the Answer. In the event that the parties had failed to  attach  the  required  actionable  documents  either  in  the  Complaint  or  in  the Answer, the request for the belated inclusion should be threshed out during the Mandatory  Conference,  upon a showing  of justifiable  grounds  and that no grave and irreparable injury shall be suffered by the other party with the inclusion of the actionable document/s.

These  additional  documents  or affidavits  shall  be marked  consecutively,  starting from the next designation after the last document marked in the Complaint or the Answer.

24.4    Effect of Non-Filing. The position papers shall be the substitute for the requirement of  trial.  The  failure  to  file  the  position  paper  shall  be  tantamount  to  the  non- presentation  of evidence and the Arbiter shall be authorized to resolve the dispute on  the  basis  of  the  evidence  presented  by  the  party  who  submitted  a  position paper.  If  both  parties  fail  to  submit  their  position  papers  within  the  prescribed period, they shall be deemed to have waived their right to trial and the case shall be resolved on the basis of the allegations  of the Complaint  and the Answer, and the documents attached thereto.
Section 25. Draft Decision. – The parties shall likewise attach to their Position Papers their proposed draft Decision which shall provide as follows:
25.1    The statement of the proceedings conducted;
25.2    The  statement   of  the  facts,   citing   specific   paragraphs   in  the  affidavits   and documents to support the allegations of fact;
25.3    The   issues   for   resolution   as   defined   by   the   parties   during   the   Mandatory
25.4    The contending discussions of the parties;
25.5    The  body  of  the  decision  which  shall  state  the  arguments  in  support  of  their contention; and,
25.6    The dispositive portion stating the reliefs to be granted.
Section  26.  Ocular  Inspection  and/or  Clarificatory  Hearings.  –  If,  upon  perusal  of  the position   papers,   there  are  technical   matters   which  need  to  be  clarified   for  a  just determination  of the issues, the Arbiter may order the conduct of clarificatory  hearing or ocular inspection.  The Order for this purpose shall be issued not later than five (5) days from the date of receipt  of the position  papers  and the proceedings  completed  within a period  of twenty  (20) days from the date of the issuance  of the Order.  The Order shall specify  the matters  and things  which  need to be clarified  or inspected,  respectively,  as well as the date/s when the proceedings will be taken.

The  Arbiter  shall  submit  to  the  LSG  a written  explanation  on  the  reasons  why  it was necessary to conduct the clarificatory hearing and/or the ocular inspection within five (5) working days from its conclusion, attaching a copy of the order and the results thereof.

Rule 6

Section 27. When Case Deemed Submitted  for Resolution.  – The case shall be deemed submitted  for resolution  on the date  of receipt  of the position  papers  provided  that the position  papers  were  filed  or mailed  within  the  prescribed  period.  If ocular  inspections and/or clarificatory  hearings have been conducted,  then on the date of the completion  of the said proceedings.

Section 28. Decision.

28.1    Resolution. The Arbiter shall decide the case within a period of sixty (60) days from the date the case has been deemed submitted  for resolution.  In case of failure to resolve the case within the prescribed period, the Arbiter shall make a report to the
LSG stating the good reasons therefor.
28.2    Form. The form of the Decision shall be as follows:
28.2.1     Statement  of  the  Case:  A  concise  and  chronological   account  of  the proceedings conducted in the case;

28.2.2     Statement of the Facts: A concise and chronological  narration of the facts citing the evidence supporting the findings;

28.2.3     Statement  of  the  Issues:  Enumeration   of  the  issues  as  agreed  upon during the Mandatory Conference;

28.2.4     Brief and concise statement of the arguments of the parties;

28.2.5     Factual  and legal conclusions  which shall cite specific  facts, documents and jurisprudence to support the decision;

28.2.6     Dispositive  portion which should be limited to what has been prayed for by the ascendant party.
28.3    Promulgation.  The decision shall be promulgated  not later than three (3) calendar days  from  its resolution.  The  parties  shall  thereafter  be notified  and  furnished  a copy of decision within three (3) days from promulgation.
Rule 7

Section  29. Divisible  Penalties.  – If the penalty  imposed  has a minimum  and maximum amount or period, the penalty shall be divided as follows:

29.1    Division. The divisible penalty shall be divided into three degrees as follows:
29.1.1     Minimum  Degree.  The imposable  penalty shall be within the range from the minimum  provided  by law,  and  one  peso  or one  month  before  the median amount or period;
29.1.2     Medium Degree. The middle amount or period between the minimum and
maximum provided by law;
29.1.3     Maximum  Degree.  The  amount  or period  one  peso  or month  after  the medium degree up to the maximum amount or period provided by law.
29.2    Imposition of Penalties.
29.2.1     Minimum  Degree.  When  only one mitigating  circumstance  is present  or there is at least one mitigating circumstance more than aggravating circumstances, the imposable penalty shall be the median between the minimum  and maximum  penalty within the degree: Provided,  That when there  are  two  or  more  mitigating   circumstances,   the  penalty   to  be imposed shall be the minimum as provided by law;
29.2.2   Medium Degree. When there are neither aggravating nor mitigating circumstances  or there is an equal number of mitigating and aggravating;
29.2.3     Maximum  Degree. When only an aggravating  circumstance  is present or
there are more aggravating  than mitigating circumstances,  the imposable penalty shall be the median between the minimum within the degree and maximum imposable penalty: Provided, That, if there are two or more aggravating   circumstances,   the  penalty   to  be  imposed   shall  be  the maximum penalty as provided by law.
Section 30. Qualified Penalties. – When the law, rule or regulation sets either a minimum but not a maximum, or a maximum without a minimum amount or period, the penalties to be imposed are, as follows:
30.1    When the law, rule or regulation uses the words “not more than” or terms of similar import, the minimum imposable penalty shall be the median between the maximum as provided  by law and zero penalty.  Thereafter,  the imposable  penalty  shall be divided  into  minimum,  medium  and  maximum  degrees  in  accordance  with  the preceding paragraph.

30.2    When the law, rule or regulation uses the words “not less than” or terms of similar import, the minimum imposable penalty shall be that as provided by law and the maximum  being double  that amount  or period.  Thereafter,  the imposable  penalty shall be divided into minimum, medium and maximum degrees in accordance  with the preceding Section.
Section 31. Indivisible Penalty. – When the law, rule or regulation sets the amount and/or period  of  the  penalty  without  any  qualifying  terms  to  indicate  whether  the  imposable penalty  may be more or less than that fixed therein,  then the HLURB  shall impose  the penalty provided regardless of the number and quality of the mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

Section 32. Circumstances  Affecting the Imposition of Penalties. – Upon the determination that an offense or violation has been committed, the following circumstances shall be considered in the imposition of penalties:

32.1    Aggravating   Circumstances.   The   following   circumstances   shall   increase   the imposable penalty:
32.1.1     The violation or offense was committed through or was attended by fraud and/or deliberate and gross misrepresentation;

32.1.2     Lack of or suspended license to sell committed at the time of the violation or  while  a  cease  and  desist  order  is  subsisting,  without  prejudice  to separate proceedings for indirect contempt;

32.1.3     Commission of the same violation within the period of two (2) years;

32.1.4    Commission of a different violation within one year from the time of the commission of the cited offense or violation;

32.1.5    Commission of the same offense after the filing of the complaint or the monitoring/inspection activity but before determination  of the commission of the violation;

32.1.6     Pattern   of   misconduct   as   evidenced   by   the   number   of   violations committed within a period of five (5) years;

32.1.7     Submission of falsified or simulated documents;

32.1.8     Vulnerability of the victim;

32.1.9     Substantial  experience  or expertise in the real estate trade and the laws, rules and regulations pertinent thereto;

32.1.10   Disrespect  or discourteousness  towards  the officers of, and to the laws, rules and regulations implemented by the HLURB;

32.1.11   Such  other  circumstances  as would  tend  to prove  moral  depravity  and gross dishonesty.

32.2    Mitigating Circumstances.  The following circumstances  shall cause the decrease in the imposable penalty:

32.2.1     The absence of fraud and/or deliberate and gross misrepresentation;

32.2.2     The  absence  of  any  pattern  of  misconduct  or  the  violation  is  the  first offense;

32.2.3     Remoteness of previous offense or the offense committed was more than five (5) years from the last offense;

32.2.4     Timely good faith effort to rectify the alleged infraction or remunerate  the aggrieved party;

32.2.5     Imposition of other penalties;

32.2.6     Lack of experience or expertise in the real estate trade and the laws, rules and regulations pertinent thereto;

32.2.7     Such  other  circumstances  as  would  tend  to mitigate  the  effects  of the offense committed.

32.3     Alternative  Circumstances.  The  following  circumstances  shall  be  considered  as either aggravating or mitigating circumstances:

32.3.1     Financial capacity of the person penalized;

32.3.2     The aggregate amount of the project or transaction involved;

32.3.3     The education and reputation of the developer and/or the buyer;

32.3.4     Such   other   circumstances    which   could   be   considered    as   either aggravating or mitigating circumstances.

32.4     Ineffectual  Circumstances.  The following circumstances  shall not be considered  in the imposition of penalties:

32.3.1     Forced or compelled restitution;

32.3.2     Agreeing to the demand of the client for the commission of the offense or violation of the laws, rules and regulations;

32.3.3     Withdrawal of the complaint by the complainant  if the action was initiated by a third party;

32.3.4     Withdrawal from the real estate business.
Section 33. Computation of Penalties. – Whenever the laws, rules or regulations penalizes the commission  or omission  of an act, the commission  or omission  shall constitute  one violation and shall be penalized accordingly.

However,  whenever  the law, rule or regulation  requires  a license,  each  and every  unit shall constitute a count for violation of the laws, rules and regulations.

Section 34. Effects of Reinterpretation. – Except when the order imposing penalties has become final in whole or in part, the re-interpretation  of the provisions  of the laws, rules and regulations  shall have prospective  effect if detrimental  to the interests  of the person sought  to be charged  but  retroactive  if favorable  to the  respondent.  In case  the  order imposing sanctions  or penalties has been appealed  in part and has become final insofar as the other parts are concerned,  this Rule shall apply only to that portion  of the order which has not yet become final and executory.

Rule 8

Section 35. Consignation.  – In cases where tender of payment is required or consignation is allowed, the party making the tender and/or consignation  shall open a bank account in the name of the other party and deposit therein the amounts tendered or for consignation, furnishing the Arbiter with a copy of the bank book and the deposit slips evidencing  such payments.

Section 36. Appeals  from Local Zoning Boards. – In cases of appeals from decisions  of the local zoning boards which fall within the jurisdiction  of the Board of Commissioners, the appeal shall be filed in the Regional Field Office having jurisdiction over the city or municipality involved and the Arbiter shall accept all pleadings and documents pertinent thereto,  and, upon completion,  forward  the same to the Board  of Commissioners  within fifteen (15) days therefrom.  The Appeals  Review  Group shall then issue a notice to the parties  informing  them  that  the records  have  been  received  and  that  the appeal  is for resolution.

Section  37.  Separability   Clause.  –  If  the  effectivity  of  any  provision  of  this  Rule  is suspended   or  disapproved,   or  otherwise   declared   contrary   to  law,   the  unaffected provisions shall remain in force.

Section  38. Repealing  Clause.  – Upon the effectivity  of this Rules, the provisions  of the
2011 Rules of Procedure on proceedings before the Arbiters, and all resolutions, orders, memoranda, and circulars of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board which are inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 39. Effectivity.  – This Rules shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication  in the Official Gazette.  All cases filed after the date of effectivity  and pending  cases which have not reached the Mandatory Conference stage shall be governed by this Rules.

Adopted, this 7th day of December 2017.

HUDCC Chairperson

Undersecretary,  DILG
Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner

Undersecretary,  DOJ

Undersecretary,  DPWH

Director IV, NEDA

Board Secretary

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