The Department of Education (DepEd) made official its new policy on the voluntary use of face masks in schools after it released Department Order (DO) 48 to the public.

The DO was based on President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s Executive Order No. 7, which made masking indoors voluntary.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) on Wednesday called for the continued wearing of face masks in schools for protection against Covid-19.

“The situation of our classroom is very precarious to infection given the overcrowding, no proper ventilation, no schools nurse, no functional clinic with ample supplies,” it said.

“It is very irresponsible for the government to leave our schools in such a state, and even more thoughtless to strip our students and teachers of the last protection that we have, however insufficient it is,” it added.

The group said the government should first build confidence in the health and safety situations of schools before doing away with face masks.

Public schools started implementing mandatory face-to-face classes on Nov. 2. John Ezekiel J. Hirro