Public trust bill passes in Congress

The Chamber of Deputies voted in favor of the bill that creates government trusts. The Abinader administration has created several trusts and the bill legalizes their status.

The Abinader administration has been pushing the public-private partnerships backing the scheme of private business with significant government support.

PRM Congressmen Amado Díaz, Francisco Solimán and Rosendy Polanco drafted the bill regulating public trust, organization, structure and operation. The trusts are authorized to administer public resources and to foresee, manage and execute works and projects of infrastructure or services of collective interest.

The ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) is a majority in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate that make up the National Congress. The PRM has the votes to pass any bill that requires simple majority.

Opposition legislator Dionis Sanchez of the Fuerza del Pueblo understands that a two-thirds majority was needed to pass the bill because it allows for the divesting of state assets. The law could be contested, as reported in Diario Libre.

Diario Libre reported that Article 15 was included in the public trust bill. The article orders that all the information contained in the trust contract or in any other act be subject to public registry or any other information that must be made public, by virtue of the law, must be disclosed by the trustor through its Office of Access to Public Information, as established in the Law of Free Access to Public Information.

The bill establishes that debts, loans and other economic obligations that are in charge of the trust, shall be exclusively affected to the trust patrimony. For this reason, they shall not be subject to the guarantee or warranty of the state and, consequently, shall not constitute public debt. Nevertheless, there is a clause in the bill that allows this to happen when expressly and restrictively agreed in the constitutive act of the trust.

Recent public trusts are the Punta Catalina power plant trust and the Pro Pedernales trust for tourism development in Pedernales province.

The bill now moves to the President’s Office for signing and enactment into law.

Read more in Spanish:
Diario Libre

16 March 2023