The Department of Health (DOH) said that teachers and students undergoing face-to-face classes are still mandated to wear face masks amid the Inter-Agency Task Force of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF) recommendation to only use it voluntarily in open spaces by year-end.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire underscored that the IATF’s proposal was for the optional wearing of face masks in open spaces with good ventilation, as long as the Covid-19 booster rate increases. 

Since F2F classes are being held inside classrooms, she said that this was not covered by the recommendation. 

“Classes are done indoors. Hindi pa ho kasama ngayon ang indoors dito sa ating polisiya,” Vergeire said in an interview on GMA News’ Unang Balita.

“Will wait for the official approval of the Office of the President and we will abide by whatever [it] directs as to do, as well as the DOH,” DepEd spokesperson Atty. Michael Poa said via a press conference.

Meanwhile, Vergeire advised parents and guardians to make sure that their children will still wear face masks in schools. 

“Sana po ang ating mga magulang, magkaron pa rin ng pag-assess ng risks dahil alam natin na ang ating mga kabataan, marami sa kanila ay hindi pa bakunado. Ipagsuot pa rin natin ng masks ang ating mga kabataan ‘pag papasok sa school,” she said.

“Kapag uuwi na lang kapag maglalaro, at maluwag naman ang lugar, walang tao, at saka na lang tayo magkaroon nitong optional wearing of mask,” she added.


Ronald Espartinez