DepEd-7 official says wearing of face mask in schools still mandatory
CEBU CITY, Philippines — An official of the Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd-7) said students and teachers were still required to wear face masks inside the school premises, despite some local government units (LGUs) allowing the optional use of face mask in open spaces.
DepEd-7 Director Salustiano Jimenez said that the use of face masks would continue to provide additional protection to both teachers and children.
“Mao na sa protocol nga atong gipadayon, labi na g’yod nga naa pay mga estudyante ug naa pay mga maestra nga walay vaccine. So, wala man ta’y discrimination. Both vaccinated ug unvaccinated, nagtipon sa isa ka campus that’s why atoa jud na nga gi-emphasize pa gihapon nga unta mag face mask lang sa gihapon,” he said.
(That is the protocol that we continue to implement, especially that there are students and teachers who still have not been vaccinated. So, we don’t have any discrimination. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated, gather in one campus that;s why we still emphasize that we should still wear face masks.)
“Even our Vice President, Secretary Sara Duterte, is also encouraging everyone to still to wear face mask within the campus and especially inside the classroom,” the DepEd-7 director said.
Moreover, Director Jaime Bernadas of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) has shot down speculations that COVID-19 cases in the region have been increasing because some LGUs have made the wearing of face masks in open spaces non-mandatory.
The Cebu City government, for instance, issued executive order last month allowing non-obligatory wearing of face masks in the city.
Bernadas said Central Visayas now had only an average of 20 to 70 new COVID-19 cases per day.
As of Friday, he said, the total cumulative number of active COVID-19 cases had been down to 700 regionwide.
He also noted that the number of recoveries was even higher than the number of new cases daily.
He said the DOH still promoted the minimum health standards, but they were also not against the issuances of local chief executives on making face mask use non-obligatory in open spaces.
“Ang paghatag sa tawo og liberty nga magmask o dili, ga-base sa iyang kahibalo. Kami, isip health sector magpromote kanus-a itaod ang mask ug kanus-a pwede tangtangon ang mask,” he added.
(Giving the people the choice to wear a mask or not, is based on their knowledge. We, as being in the health sector, we promote when to wear and when not to wear the mask.)
Meanwhile, the DOH-7 and the DepEd-7, with other regional executives of national agencies in the region are campaigning for the PinasLakas, a 100-day nationwide booster vaccination campaign which is set to end on Oct. 8, 2022.
It is the strategy of the Marcos administration to strengthen the country’s vaccination booster programs and ensure progress toward a more “health-conscious” and “safer” country.
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