education in the Philippines

DepEd allows optional wearing of face masks in classrooms

Bonz Magsambol
DepEd allows optional wearing of face masks in classrooms

File photo of students entering their campus

Rappler

This comes after President Marcos scrapped the mask-wearing policy in place since 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) will make the wearing of face masks inside classrooms optional, its spokesman said on Tuesday, November 1.

“We will follow EO (Executive Order) 7,” DepEd spokesman Michael Poa told reporters in a text message.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed EO 7 on Friday, October 28, lifting a mask-wearing mandate that had been in place since 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Schools may immediately implement optional masking indoors, pursuant to EO 7,” Poa added.

EO 7 also mandates the implementation of “minimum public health standards,” including “good hygiene, frequent hand-washing, observance of physical distancing, and maintenance of good ventilation, especially in indoor settings.”

DepEd allows optional wearing of face masks in classrooms

On Wednesday, November 2, all public schools in the country should implement five days of face-to-face classes, as ordered by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte. She considered the resumption of in-person classes in the country as a major accomplishment in her first 100 days in office. Although the resumption of face-to-face classes was long overdue, as students were not learning under the distance education setup.

In September, Marcos allowed the voluntary wearing of face masks in outdoor settings, a move opposed by top Philippine medical experts. They said that it would send the wrong message to the public that they “should not be afraid of COVID-19 anymore.” (READ: Outdoor wearing of face masks now optional in the Philippines) – Rappler.com

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.