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Reforms Proposed for Panama’s Land Titling Laws

Article Summary:

The Panamanian government has presented for review at the National Land Council a draft bill which changes current land titling legislation. The proposed bill gives more power to the National Land Authority (Anati), such as a period of seven years for the role of administrator and the elimination of free titling in any of its forms. Through these changes, the government seeks to plug loopholes left by the two existing laws.

Photo Credit: Prensa

Original Article Text From Prensa via Google Translate :

Prepare Anati Law Changes

Last week, several members of the National Land Council received in black and white with a document that crystallize the government’s intentions to further modify the legislation concerning land titles.

This is the draft of a bill with which basically aims to give more powers to the National Land Authority (Anati), perpetuate your administrator for seven years on the job and eliminate free patent in any form.

He said: “This is the draft of a bill with which basically aims to give more powers to the National Land Authority (Anati), perpetuate your administrator for seven years on the job and eliminate free patent in any form. ” He should say: “… and eliminate free patent in any form to islands and coasts . ”

It was learned that both the Minister of Economy and Finance, Frank De Lima, as Comptroller General, Gioconda de Bianchini (Lands Council members) have in their hands the reforms promoted by the director Anati, Franklin Oduber Burillo.

Oduber’s interest is that the draft bill be reviewed by members of the Land Council to submit as soon as possible to the Cabinet.

The legislative initiative would be managed through the Ministry of Housing and Land Management (Miviot), which is also part of the Land Council.

The reforms would be comprehensive. Included in the draft articles of Law 80 of 2009, which recognizes the rights of possession and regulates degree in coastal areas, and Law 59 of 2010 that created the Anati.

Changes are proposed to be exposed after the controversial qualification process of 54 hectares of John Hombrón, then was granted Cesar Segura, the gardener of the exclusive Paitilla, a plot of just over 11,000 meters square, free of charge and subsequently returned to the state after detecting irregularities.

Supposedly the government seeks to plug gaps modifications that have left the two laws.

But sources consulted do not believe in these genuine intentions, in part, for the proposition that the general manager Anati designated by the Executive and ratified by the Assembly of Deputies for a period of seven years, which would begin to run from the enactment of the law.

This would mean that the director would be in charge Anati at least until 2019 if the bill is passed this year. Besides, only the Third Chamber of the Supreme Court could remove him from office.

For Carlos Gasnell, executive vice president of the Foundation for the Development of Civic Freedom, calls attention to the “shielding” the appointment of the director of the Anati for a time exceeding the presidential term.

“This could be justified if there depoliticize the real intention of this institution, which is not observed in the formation of the National Land Council,” he said.

Gasnell advocates an integrated Land Council representative sectors of society and not only by officials and government ministers, Economy, Agricultural Development, the Comptroller and the Director of Public Registry of the Environment and Anati own.

The former Minister of Finance Alberto Vallarino, who in the past objected to several legal changes, including the law that created the Anati and gives absolute power in the area of ​​land titling, also criticized the proposal.

Believes that the charges of this type must be available to each administration. The most convenient, in his view, is that the administrator is left in the position just six months after the presidential term ends in which he worked, to make an orderly transition.

Currently, the Anati director is appointed for a period of five years and is freely removable.

The proposal in the hands of several government ministers Ricardo Martinelli also includes the band officially Anati badlands national coastal and island territory, where there is no legitimate material possessory right, through the methods specified in the Act Procurement.

According Gasnell, the draft bill changes the character of “not be adjudicated” coastal zone set in the Constitution.

“They try to allow the award without many parameters and significantly increasing the power and discretion of the administrator Anati” he said.

This analysis should consider the procurement law allows tenders by invitation and direct contracting, both methods strongly questioned about the possible favoritism involved. It is unknown whether these mechanisms would be used when the state put its own initiative, their assets for sale.

The document prepared by the Anati also emphasizes that the entity would have total authority over landfills and the granting of concessions, without giving further details of this scope.

The Press sent an email to Oduber, director Anati to know the basics of your changes, but at press time the interview request was not granted. Neither the questions sent to your email.

From his press office reported that Oduber had received the request but would respond this week.

He was also consulted Finance Minister on reforms to be presented to Cabinet. Questions submitted to the email were not resolved. The calls were not answered.

It is assumed that this week the issue will be addressed in the National Land Council.

Link to Original Article:

From Prensa

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