MANILA, Philippines - In what its main proponent said was a new high for the House of Representatives, the Committee on Health approved a controversial bill seeking to legalize and regulate the medical use of cannabis (marijuana).
House Bill No. 180 or the proposed Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act will next go to plenary for debates.
"I'm elated now that it passed the committee level. It's the first time it has advanced this far," Isabela Representative Rodito Albano said.
Albano also authored the bill in the 16th Congress, but it remained at the committee level.
"At least now, it will be taken up at the floor; the Speaker wants it and the President wants it passed too, but for medical purposes," he said in a phone interview.
Albano believes the bill will have the support of at least 90 percent of the House members.