Face masks, physical distancing ‘not mandatory’ during in-person EOSY rites --- DepEd

At a glance

  • In the annual conduct of full in-person End-of-School-Year (EOSY) rites for School Year 2022-2023, the Department of Education (DepEd) said the "observance of physical distancing shall no longer be mandatory."

  • DepEd said the wearing of face masks during the ceremonies is not "required and shall be left to the discretion of the learners and their parents."

  • DepEd sets this year's EOSY rites for public schools from July 10 to 14.

  • Private schools are allowed to make the necessary adjustments in the conduct of EOSY rites based on their approved revised school calendar.

Wearing face masks as well as observing physical distancing will no longer be mandatory for those who will attend graduation and moving ceremonies this school year, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced.

“The DepEd moves to allow and encourage the full face-to-face conduct of the moving up and graduation ceremonies starting this school year 2022-2023,” the agency said in DepEd Order No. 009 series of 2023 or “An Order Updating the Multi-Year Implementing Guidelines on the Conduct of the K to 12 Basic Education Program End-of-School-Year Rites (EOSY)” signed by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte.

“Further, the observance of physical distancing and wearing of face mask is no longer mandatory,” DepEd said.

The latest issuance, DepEd said, aims to guide both public and private elementary and secondary schools nationwide in the annual conduct of EOSY rites.

This DepEd Order also provides the updated procedures for conducting moving up and graduation ceremonies for Kindergarten, Grade 6, Grade 10, and Grade 12 learners who fulfilled the curriculum requirements at the end of the school year.

“In the annual conduct of full in-person EOSY rites, observance of physical distancing shall no longer be mandatory,” DepEd said.

“The wearing of face mask during the ceremonies is not required and shall be left to the discretion of the learners and their parents,” the agency added.

With classes formally ending on July 7, DepEd said that each school has the discretion to elect the date for the holding of this year's rites not earlier than July 10 and not later than July 14, 2023.



For private schools that started earlier and for public and private schools with an extended school year due to “unforeseen circumstances,” they will be guided by their approved revised school calendar, the DepEd said.

Reminders for schools

While graduation and moving up ceremonies mark a milestone in the lives of the learners, DepEd reminded schools that these should be “conducted without excessive spending, extravagant attire, or extraordinary venue.”

“Graduation and moving up ceremonies should be simple yet meaningful,” DepEd said.

To avoid additional expenses for learners and parents, DepEd said that casual or formal wear or school uniform remain as the recommended attire for moving up or graduation rites. “Toga or sablay is allowed to be worn as an additional garb,” it added.

As part of its no-collection policy, DepEd prohibited its personnel from collecting any kind of contribution or graduation or moving up fee.

Expenses relative to the activity, DepEd said, should be charged against the school's Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE).

For the Alternative Learning System (ALS), expenses to be incurred for the conduct of the activity may be charged to the Calendar Year 2023 ALS Program Support Funds.

Moreover, DepEd stressed that non-academic projects such as attendance to field trips, film showing, JS Promenade, and other school events “should not be imposed as requirements for graduation or completion.”

DepEd also asked school officials to ensure that moving up or graduating rites are not used as a “political forum.” These ceremonies, the agency added, should be “conducted in an appropriate solemn ceremony befitting the graduating students and their family.”

For SY 2022-2023, DepEd said that the EOSY rites focus on the theme: “Gradweyt ng K to 12: Hinubog ng Matatag na Edukasyon” (K to 12 Graduates: Molded through a Resilient Educational Foundation).

This, DepEd said, emphasizes that graduation is “not only a celebratory milestone but also a symbol of resilience, agency, and grit of Filipino learners honed by a solid basic education system that is responsive to the changing needs of time.”

The theme, DepEd added, also highlights that “every learner's achievement mirrors an education that succeeds amid all difficulties.”

DepEd noted that private Schools, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Technical Vocational Institutions (TVIs), State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), and Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) offering basic education or any grade levels may also adopt the provisions of this DO as the basis in the conduct of their moving up or graduation ceremonies.