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Albay Rep. Joey Salceda predicted the country was now more ready for the consequences of the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine after May 15, while admitting he was making his forecast “with a lot of trembling inside.”

“At this time, I am prepared (with a lot of trembling inside, thunder and lightning outside) to say that we are more ready for the consequences of a reopening even as we await a vaccine possibly in 2021 than for the impacts of another hard lockdown as we know it,” the chair of the House ways and means panel told reporters.

“Human behavior in our institutions and in the public has begun to be more prepared for the ups and downs of an epidemic,” Salceda added.

He said he studied “twice, thrice and so many times the evolving numbers, emerging scenarios and the national strategies and their implementation.”

“I have discussed and with data scientists, chaos theorists, and economists,” he said.

But before any lifting of the lockdown, he said he hoped government strategists “would steel our nerves during episodic spikes in cases and not fall for the easy default of an unplanned lockdown which we can only do at the expense of resources for our recovery.”

“Localized maybe but LGU-managed not barangay-directed. Second, we must all do our part – the low-cost non-pharmaceutical interventions: wash your hands, wear facemasks, avoid crowds, and maintain physical distancing even at home,” he added.

“Third, the NTF should continue to increase testing, tracing, and treatment — achieve 8,000 per day by May 15 and 30,000 per day by May 30,” Salceda said.

“We were discussing just last time among the thinkgroup that the approach should be akin to supply chain management. No part of the day’s activities should disproportionately expose anyone to the possibility of infection,” he said.

“May God bless the Philippines and our people we love so much,” Salceda said.

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