A trailblazer of ICT innovations in the countryside and a dedicated public servant was recognized in the regional Civil Service Commission 2018 Search for Outstanding Government Workers.

MariaTeresa Camba, the current DICT – Mindanao Cluster 1 Regional Director and former Tech4ED Project National Manager, was one of the seven regionalrecipients of the Presidential Lingkod Bayan (PLB) Award of CSC Region 9Honor Awards Program last 05 September 2018 held at the Grand Astoria Hotel, Zamboanga City.

Camba’s contributions in bridging the digital divide in her area and even to other regions had made a significant development on ICT in reaching the public. As regional director and project manager, she brought the Tech4ED, one of the DICT’s national digital inclusion projects, to more marginalized communities, particularly in the Mindanao area. Under her leadership, the Tech4ED project exceeded its target in 2016 and 2017 as 2000 centers were established nationwide.

Serving the government for 32 years now, Camba, or Ma’am Tess to her staff, also successfully led the implementation of DICT’s other programs such as Digital Literacy and ICT Skills Development, Tech4ED Centers, Impact Sourcing workshops, and Free Wi-FI sites in areas as far as Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

For Camba, the huge disparity in access of ICT between those who have access and those who do noturged her to work harder in implementing ICT services to the people.

“Many people and many areas in the country remain unconnected and do not enjoy the benefits of the information and communications technology. This drives me to work even harder so that we can bring the benefits of information and communications technology to these underserved and unserved communities so that they enjoy the same opportunities that those of us who are living in the urban areas,” Camba said.

DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. lauded the commendable leadership and dedication of Camba, recalling his admiration of her work when the Tech4Ed successfully established the 2000th e-Center in Zamboanga City Jail Female Dormitory.

“She truly gives a good image to the Department. People recognize the Department because of her effort. I [won’t] forget when Tess brought me to one of the Tech4ED center which is inside a prison where male prisoners and female prisoners were being taught how to come up with a livelihood program inside the prison to make them better citizens when they actually get their freedom,” said Rio. “You can hear from the testimony of these prisoners how they appreciated the contribution of DICT particularly the effort of Tess.”

Considered a prime mover of ICT initiatives in the country, Camba came up with innovations to help Tech4Ed achieve its goal, including implementing a Monitoring System to address deficiencies in the existing system and launching the National Tech4ED Awards, among others –which made her a frontrunner for the PLB Award.

The PLB Award publicly recognizes government officials and employees who have shown outstanding work performanceexceptional public service. The award also aims to inspire government employees to improve the quality of their performance and be encouraged to have a deeper involvement in doing public service.