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Debate begins in Jamaica on Land-titling System reform

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#KINGSTON, April 22 (JIS):    The House of Representatives on Tuesday (April 21) began debate on the Registration of Titles (Amendment) Act, 2020, which is aimed at reforming Jamaica’s land-titling system.

In his opening remarks, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, said the reform is necessary due to the large number of persons occupying land whose names are not on the titles, sometimes for generations; and the need to modernise, as well as enhance administrative structures to simplify processes and reduce costs.

He further noted that the desired outcomes include increased security of tenure and a more efficient and systematic land-titling system.

            “Consequently, the Bill seeks to give effect to the policy decision for implementation of an adjudication-centric and driven process for proving the ownership of land and the separation of the processes of planning and subdivision approval from the issuing of titles, under the Registration of Titles Cadastral Mapping and Tenure Clarification (Special Provisions) Act,” Mr. Vaz said.

            Other outcomes include consequentially amending the Limitation of Actions Act to provide that, where boundaries are adjudicated upon and pursuant to a systematic registration process, are deemed to be acquiesced, notwithstanding any enactment to the contrary and provided the parties do not object to same.

            Regarding sections of the Bill, Clause three seeks to amend Section 15 of the Act by inserting paragraph (d), which empowers the Registrar of Titles (hereinafter “Registrar”) to lodge caveats for: the protection of Trusts; and the protection of a charge for outstanding property taxes that may be applicable to any land that is the subject of the proposed section 28A (1) (b).

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“The lands, subject to section 28A(1)(b), are those that the applications for registered titles were reviewed by an Adjudication Committee, which issued an Adjudication Certificate under the Registration of Titles Cadastral Mapping and Tenure Clarification (Special Provisions) Act,” Mr. Vaz said.

In addition, clause four seeks to insert Sections 28A and 28B in the Act. Mr. Vaz said the proposed Section 28A(1) seeks to provide for applications to be made to obtain registered titles without reference to the Referee of Titles where a Certificate of Compliance is issued under the Facilities for Titles Act and the applicant or his personal representative is named in the said Certificate of Compliance; an Adjudication Certificate is issued [under the] Registration of Titles Cadastral Mapping and Tenure Clarification (Special Provisions) Act by the Director of Adjudication Services or the Adjudication Committee directing that the Registrar of Titles shall issue an absolute or qualified title; and pursuant to a Court Order under which the court has determined ownership.

Clause 10 of the Bill seeks to amend Section 178 of the Act. The effect of this amendment is to increase the maximum value of the monetary penalty for offences under the Act.

Mr. Vaz said the proposed amendment empowers the Parish Court to impose on a convicted offender a fine of up to $1 million instead of the existing maximum of $1,000.

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The proposed amendment also prescribes a term of imprisonment of up to six months in default of the payment of the fine, and prescribes that any certificate of title, entry, erasure or alteration so procured or made by fraud shall be void as against all parties or persons privy to such fraud.

Meanwhile, debate also started on the companion legislation, entitled, Registration of Titles Cadastral Mapping and Tenure Clarification (Special Provisions) (Amendment) Act, 2020.

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Land-titling System…3

The Bill seeks to give effect to the policy decision to provide for the full operations of the Land Administration and Management Programme processes, including the adjudication processes to fall under the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer of the National Land Agency, and amend the Registration of Titles Cadastral Mapping and Tenure Clarification (Special Provisions) Regulations to give effect to the changes that will be made to the Act.

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CHTA President Praises Jamaica’s Hurricane Preparedness, Assures Ongoing Support

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KINGSTON, Jamaica– President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), Nicola Madden-Greig, has praised the strength of local and regional public-private sector partnerships, while congratulating tourism stakeholders across Jamaica for their strong level of preparedness in weathering the dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Beryl, which impacted the island this week.

“Jamaica was spared the worst of the hurricane and we have now returned to regular business operations,” said Madden-Greig, who rode out the storm at her office in Kingston. She reported that Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay and Ian Fleming International Airport in Ocho Rios opened today, while Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston will open on Friday, July 5, after minor repairs are completed.

“We have no reports of any guests being injured during the passage of the storm, and the majority of the hotels and the tourism industry in general have emerged unscathed,” Madden-Greig added.

However, she expressed concerns for the south coast of the island, where many local communities were impacted, along with several independent hotels and villa operations.

“We will be including these operators in our disaster relief efforts, particularly in the Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth area,” she noted, explaining however that she had little doubt that this resilient community will rebound in the shortest possible time.

The trade association leader was encouraged with the reports emanating from the Cayman Islands, which confirmed no major impact on the sector there. “We are thankful to God for sparing us for the most part, and we are now resolved to getting our industry back on track, while serving communities (especially those in the Grenadines) who are in dire need at this time,” said Madden-Greig.

Individuals, businesses and organizations that want to contribute to regional hurricane relief efforts may make a monetary donation at www.chtaef.com.

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CARICOM raising profile and priority of its Migration Policy; curbing challenges ‘a tall order’

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is committed to work with Member States and other stakeholders to implement a “forward-thinking regional migration policy,” according to its Assistant Secretary General, Alison Drayton.

Addressing the opening of a recent three-day workshop titled “Towards a Regional Approach to a Migration Policy in the Caribbean,” in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, she said it is evident that the Region has been facing, and will continue to face, various challenges that affect the lives and livelihoods of Caribbean citizens.

“Namely, due to Climate Change, which has amplified displacements and the need for persons to migrate from areas that threaten their livelihoods or limit their opportunities to prosper and provide for their families,” the ASG told the forum, adding that the Climate Change and natural disasters remain “key drivers of displacements in the Region.”

“With the frequency and magnitude of events likely to increase in the future, this has contributed to many regional States facing demographic decline, which has impacted their workforce, our younger population seeking job opportunities outside the Region, and many key sectors being negatively impacted,” she stated.

The CARICOM official underscored that tackling the challenges would be “a tall order,” hence the Regional body’s commitment that would help address various aspects of Regional migration and human mobility as determined by Member State priorities.

Lauding the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for hosting the workshop, and the and valuable technical contributions made by the United Nations (UN) Migration Group and financial contributions from the United States Department of State, the European Union, and the Inter-American Development Bank, she said  the their efforts have been significant.

The contribution made by International Organization for Migration (IOM), has advanced the policy, with provision of consultancies to coordinate the Community’s work through the Regional Approach to Migration Policy (RAMP) Steering Committee and development of the framework, she highlighted.

For Trinidad and Tobago’s National Security Minister, the Hon. Fitzgerald Hinds, his country is also committed to contributing to the development of a regional migration policy framework that reflects the priorities of the people of the Caribbean Community.

“As we embark on this journey together, let us harness the expertise, the insights and the experiences that we already have among us as we gather here today to shape the policy framework that is in front of us,” the Minister said, adding that the current migration realities “should prepare us for future challenges.”

The technical workshop brought together National Focal Points from the CARICOM Member States, and representatives of relevant regional and international organisations, building on IOM’s Migration Governance Indicator (MGI) assessments, and other consultations held with national Governments of CARICOM Member States in 2023.

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Government Earmarks $300M for Post-Hurricane Dengue Mitigation

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#Kingston, Jamaica, July 19, 2024 – The Government has earmarked $300 million to ramp up dengue mitigation activities, inclusive of fogging, treatment of mosquito breeding sites, removal of bulky waste and drain cleaning, in the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl.

Addressing the House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 16), Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said the funds have been allocated to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, which will spearhead vector-control activities over the next six weeks.

He further informed that the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and National Works Agency (NWA), “are technically involved in this dengue mitigation [exercise] by trying to clear the environmental conditions that would create the growth in the vector”.

Mr. Holness highlighted the potential for a significant increase in the dengue vector, the Aedes aegpyti mosquito, which breeds primarily in containers, consequent on  the hurricane’s passage.

“We know that many communities are being plagued by the increase in the mosquito population… and other vectors [such as] roaches, rats and flies. Therefore, the cleanup and removal and clearing of waterlogged areas is of critical importance,” he emphasised.

The Prime Minister noted that the hot summer conditions, along with rainfall, will further contribute to heightening the possibility of an increase in these vectors and the transmission of diseases.

As such, he appealed to Jamaicans to properly store water in covered containers and destroy mosquito breeding sites around their homes.

“I urge all homeowners who are storing water and… leaving the containers open, that an easy way to control the growth of the mosquito population in your households is to cover the containers,” Mr. Holness said.

He pointed out that the NSWMA will shortly announce a schedule for the removal of bulky waste from homes.

Prime Minister Holness further indicated that the NWA will be actively cleaning various gullies.

Dengue symptoms include fever, headache, and joint and muscle pains. These are often resolved through rest and adequate hydration along with the use of paracetamol to treat the accompanying fever.

 

Contact: Chris Patterson

Release: JIS

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