Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is in hot water overseas —and potentially at home—with members of the Philippines government accusing Bloomberg-funded charities of illegally paying regulatory agencies to implement his anti-tobacco policies.

While the general public may be shocked by the allegations, those familiar with Bloomberg may be less surprised, given his tendency to leverage his philanthropic largesse as a means of influencing government policy, from funding tobacco control efforts to installing privately funded lawyers in state attorney general offices across the U.S.

As in many other countries, the “vaping” debate has grown increasingly contentious in the Philippines, with the government considering proposals ranging from regulation to complete prohibition in recent years. Last month, while the Philippine Food and Drug Administration worked to develop general guidelines on regulating non-combustible tobacco products, a new controversy emerged.

During a virtual consultation on the subject, open to the public, agency officials revealed they had been receiving money from the Bloomberg Initiative and The Union —a charity funded by Bloomberg—for their tobacco control efforts. Apparently, the funds were provided in exchange for the agency consenting to implement tobacco control strategies endorsed by Bloomberg.

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Michelle Minton – Insidesources – February 02, 2021.

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