(UPDATE) More schools have reopened to students as part of the "progressive expansion" phase of the education department's plan to hold limited in-person classes.
As of March 5, at least 6,121 schools across the country are currently holding limited in-person classes, based on data obtained Wednesday by ABS-CBN News from the Department of Education.
The figure is higher from the one last March 2, which saw only 4,315 schools holding classroom sessions.
Of the latest total, 6,013 are public schools while 108 are private schools.
Bicol leads the regions with the most number of participating schools at 1,040, followed by Zamboanga Peninsula (821) and Central Luzon (795).
The National Capital Region, meanwhile, has 201 schools.
Data also showed that 887,348 students in elementary and high school are attending limited in-person classes.
In Tacloban City, Leyte National High School (LNHS) resumed face-to-face instruction on Tuesday, welcoming back over 800 students.
LNHS is the largest high school in the Eastern Visayas region with over 9,000 students.
Students underwent orientation and psycho-social activities on their first day back on campus.
Principal Basilisa Negru said the school expects more students to attend in-person classes in the coming weeks.
In Mandaluyong, private school La Salle Green Hills (LSGH) announced it would hold limited face-to-face classes starting March 15.
LSGH advised participating learners to check student portal Ranger360 for the guidelines.
In-person classes were banned in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It resumed in late 2021 in almost 300 schools as part of the "pilot phase" of the DepEd's 3-phased plan to resume face-to-face sessions.
The DepEd has said schools are now implementing blended learning, a combination of remote learning and in-person classes.
The agency is also crafting guidelines for the conduct of in-person graduation ceremonies that adhere to COVID-19 protocols.
Officials of the World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund pushed last year for the safe reopening of schools as they warned of the "grave" and "far-reaching" consequences of prolonged school closures on students' physical and mental health, skills attainment, and earning prospects.
— With a report from Arra Perez, ABS-CBN News and Ranulfo Docdocan