Saipan – Guam Chamber of Commerce chair Gerald S.A. Perez said Article 12, or the land alienation provision of CNMI Constitution, is holding back the full recovery of the islands’ economy.
Under Article 12, only those with at least 25 percent Chamorro or Carolinian blood can own land.
Perez said Article 12 is the “secular drag and anchor holding back any meaningful and long-term economic growth in the CNMI.”
He said Article 12 denies serious investors not only from Guam but also from other countries the freedom to maximize the use of real property.
The land alienation provision also does not allow financial institutions to secure interest on money loaned out to businesses and individuals.
Perez said fee simple ownership of land is central to investment possibilities. Fee simple ownership grants an owner total and absolute legal title, and is therefore the highest and strongest form of ownership that exists.