THE Department of Education (DepEd) issued an order allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks in indoor and outdoor spaces in schools amid the resumption of face-to-face classes.

The agency issued DepEd Order No. 48 allowing the optional wearing of face masks and amending its Order No. 39 that allows students and learners not to wear face masks only in open spaces or non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation as well as in playing sports and other physical activities.

The order is effective immediately.

The amendment came to conform with the provisions of Executive Order No. 7 issued by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. last week, making the use of face masks in indoor areas optional except in healthcare facilities, medical transport vehicles and public transportation.

The DepEd reiterated that the elderly, individuals with comorbidities, immunocompromised persons, pregnant women and unvaccinated and symptomatic individuals are encouraged to wear face masks.

“The provisions of all other departmental issuances that are inconsistent with this order are hereby repealed, modified, or amended accordingly,” the order reads. (SunStar Philippines)