PSA: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. recently issued an executive order allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks both indoors and outdoors.
In line with this mandate, Department of Education Spokesperson Michael Poa also declared that students attending face-to-face classes across all levels will no longer be required to wear face masks. This statement came a day before mandatory daily in-person classes resumed in all public schools.
"A policy of voluntary wearing of face masks in both indoor and outdoor settings is a positive step towards normalization, and a welcome development that would encourage activities and boost efforts toward the full reopening of the economy," Executive Order No. 7 stated.
However, the wearing of face masks will still be mandatory in healthcare facilities, medical transport vehicles, and all kinds of public transportation. The government is also encouraging the following people to wear face masks:
- Individuals with comorbidities
- Immunocompromised individuals
- Pregnant women
- Unvaccinated individuals
- Symptomatic individuals
While President Marcos implemented the order as a "positive step towards normalization," the Department of Health warned that voluntary mask wearing could lead to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. Teachers' Dignity Coalition Chairman Benjo Basas also said that he personally still encourages students to wear face masks on campus for their own safety.