“This latest well-timed supposed youth initiative against Senate Bill No. 2239 has the fingerprints of Bloomberg Philanthropies all over it.”
Last May, the House of Representatives for the Republic of the Philippines passed the Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Act also known as House Bill 9007, aimed at regulating the sale and manufacture of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. Co-authored by 154 in the 300-man chamber for the House, the bill aims to prevent sales to minors.
President of consumer group Vapers PH and CAPHRA member, Peter Dator, describes the bill as a massive turn around from the previous prohibitory approach and proposed ban, and hopes the Senate will pass the legislation by September.
CAPHRA Executive Coordinator Nancy Loucas, had highlighted that the hard work of local consumer and THR advocates are paying off. “The world is watching as the Philippines Senate looks set to approve the most progressive and risk-proportionate vaping legislation in Asia Pacific. We’re hoping other countries in the region will then follow their lead,” she added.
How Bloomberg has been operating in the background
However, in a recent press release Loucas added that sadly Bloomberg Philanthropies has been interfering with the aim of shining a bad light on the measure. “Perfectly orchestrated criticism from youth and student organizations on the vaping legislation currently before the Philippines Senate proves that undue foreign influence and money continue to be an ongoing issue in the Philippines,” she said.
“This latest well-timed supposed youth initiative against Senate Bill No. 2239 has the fingerprints of Bloomberg Philanthropies all over it. Their ridiculous claim that the ‘vape bill is anti-youth and anti-health’ is undoubtedly funded and driven out of America. All their baseless rhetoric is straight out the Bloomberg playbook. It’s very disappointing,” she continued.
She added that the timing of this attack could not be worse with the Senate currently reviewing proposed vape regulations. “We are calling on Filipino Senators to see this latest well-funded and organised attack exactly for what it is: Unwanted foreign influence that the Philippines is now desperate to banish. Senators must reject this smear attempt forthwith,” said Loucas.
On the other hand she added, the Philippines’ Congress is currently demanding tighter measures against foreign interference, while the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability has been calling for airtight policies to ensure foreign donors, such as Bloomberg, do not interfere in the country’s policy making processes.
The Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Act
Meanwhile, CAPHRA remains positive as despite these latest events, the Philippines Senate seems set to approve the Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Act, which aims to regulate the manufacture, use, sale, distribution, and promotion of vaping, as well as heated tobacco products (HTPs).
President of adult consumer advocacy group Vapers PH and CAPHRA member, Peter Dator, condemns any attempts to derail the proposed progressive and risk-proportionate vape regulations. “The purpose of the vape bill is not to promote youth entry into nicotine products, but to help address the enormous tobacco smoking epidemic we are facing. The bill has considerable safeguards to address youth access and ensures product safety standards to protect consumers,” he said.