The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) on Wednesday urged for the continued wearing of face masks in schools despite the government’s implementation of optional masking indoors.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. recently signed Executive Order No. 7, which made masking indoors voluntary.

The Department of Education (DepED) said public schools could implement the new masking policy in their facilities.

In a statement, the ACT said face masks were the country’s last line of defense against Covid-19 and other diseases.

“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 are mandated to implement face-to-face classes starting Nov. 2. John Ezekiel J. Hirro