Over the course of her 28 and still counting years in public service, Honorable Maria Carmen S. Zamora has championed projects and programs that go above and beyond what is needed by her constituents in the present but plans for the future through infrastructure, education, and economic progress of the province.
She first entered public service at the young age of 19 back in 1996, as an ex-officio provincial Board Member representing the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) of then undivided Davao del Norte. She also became a civil servant under the Provincial Health Office of Compostela Valley before being elected as a regular member of the provincial board then subsequently becoming a district representative in 2010, replacing her father Honorable Manuel “Way Kurat” E. Zamora. She is now serving her 1st term as the Provincial Vice Governor of Davao de Oro.
During her legislative stint, she had many noteworthy achievements. Like the R.A. No. 10598, Which created the Compostela Valley State College (CVSC) that subsequently paved the way to wider access to education for young Dabawenyos raising the bar for excellence at its highest. RA No. 10606 or the Universal Health Care Law, the landmark Lemon Law or RA 10642, and of course, along with Governor Tyron Uy and Congressman Ruel Gonzaga, she was instrumental in the fulfillment of a promise to steer the entire province towards economic opportunities at par with the entire Davao Region, through the monumental ratification of her authored bill, Republic Act 11297 or the Renaming of Compostela Province into the Province of Davao de Oro last December 8, 2019, the door for golden opportunities has been opened wide for the province and its people.
In the furtherance of public service, Vice Gov Zamora graduated with honors as a member of Class 52 of the 2017 Master of National Security Administration (MNSA) program of the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP), a highly competitive honor scholarship program of the College. She also got a degree under the Agribusiness Executives Program of the University of Asia and the Pacific where she explored and enhanced her interest in Agriculture. Incidentally, she served as class president for both courses. Because of these learning experiences, she has pushed for development strategies for peace and economics
Her leadership is strongly anchored on people empowerment, persistently striving to provide effective, efficient, and excellent public service. With the government institution being the home of these services, Vice Governor Zamora spearheaded the ongoing pursuit for its ISO Certification which paints a clear landscape for more reliable, responsive, open, honest, and fair governance. The upgraded standards in service delivery will boost people's confidence in the government which reinforces social cohesion, a necessary building block for inclusive development.
Vice Governor Zamora's consistent and steadfast quest for educational opportunities for Davao de Oro did not only focus on academics but also gave weight to Technical-Vocational Education and Employment Programs. Her partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) constructed stable platforms for skills development and work opportunities for individuals who manifest grit and potential. While these programs are temporary, it grants them a foot in the door for socio-economic stability.
Hon. Maricar S. Zamora MNSA is a recipient of the Pagasa Award of the Civil Service Commission - Region XI for 2 consecutive years.
Vice Governor Maria Carmen Zamora’s decades in public service enables her to see first-hand the most common struggles of her constituents and eventually becomes a bridge to transform lives through SMILE.
SMILE is a five-point development initiative of VG Maricar which started during her first term as First District Congresswoman of the province to the House of Representatives. This ground-focused agenda concentrates on Social Services, Medical Assistance, Infrastructure, Livelihood, and Education, which aim to identify the challenges of the people that hamper progress and provide long-term programs and projects as interventions.
Welfare protection and promotion forms part of the top priorities. She made sure to allocate necessary funds to assist our people with their social service requirements when she was still in congress. Data from 2019 showed that this component was able to cover Basic Statistical Record of OFW assistance, burial assistance to no less than 5,000 immediate family members, electrification of 125 sitios within her district, and the provision of various necessary tools and facilities to day care learning centers and senior citizens’ offices throughout the province all summed up to roughly Php 175 million. Moreover, VG Zamora helped in recommending more than a thousand educators to secure plantilla positions in the education department.
Medical Assistance is provided to patient-beneficiaries who are in need of support for medicine, procedures, billing, dialysis, and cancer treatment. Through affiliated government agencies like the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the former representative’s office was able to cater almost 18,000 recipients in 2019 facilitated through partner hospitals like the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) and the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) which amounted close to Php 90,000,000.00.
Accessible road networks, development infrastructure, and physical facilities are vital for investment viability to boost the economy. While then Congresswoman solidified welfare and health programs, she also intensified the establishment of necessary infrastructure projects to prepare the first district for trade and investment.
From 2010-2018, the first district was showered with various structural projects needed for development. Most useful projects implemented include the installation of irrigations systems; provision of water supplies; opening and concreting of new road networks; rehabilitation, concreting, improvement, or construction of farm-to-market roads and bridges; construction of school buildings, health stations, learning facilities, multi-purpose buildings, and the new Sangguniang Panlalawigan building which all accounts to multi-billion pesos and were made possible through partnerships with aligned agencies like the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Tourism (DOT), and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) among others.
Empowering our people with basic skill set makes them an asset to our economy and community. VG Maricar did not only prepare the district with the physical requirements to thrive, but also made sure her constituents are equipped with the right skill to pace with the development.
Some of the mostly-benefited livelihood programs established by former Cong. Maricar Zamora were the Government Internship Program (GIP) and Emergency Employment Program (EEP) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Education has always been VG Zamora’s advocacy. During her time in Congress serving as the Vice Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, she was able to defend the Department of Education’s (DepEd) budget to further advance education especially to isolated communities.
In her district, then Cong. Maricar forged partnerships with DSWD to assist thousands of students to benefit educational assistance programs.
Another initiative undertaken included some Php 31.5 Million for the scholarship grant of 2,625 students enrolled under the four campuses of Compostela Valley State College (CVSC) – a state-owned tertiary facility the former Congresswoman authored in Congress and institutionalized during her term in the House of Representatives upon the approval on June 4, 2013.
The establishment of the Compostela Valley State College thru Republic Act 10598 in 2013 was a realization of the long-time dream for the province to have its own quality academic institution for Dabawenyo learners with highly qualified competent instructors and state-of-the-art learning facilities.
With the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, our education system is threatened with latency. But Davao de Oro did not surrender from helplessness, Vice Governor Maricar volunteered to restructure the programming in their family-owned radio station to channel lessons from the Department of Education (DepEd) to the farthest communities in the province through Radyo Z-eskwela. This radio-based instruction initiative of DepEd-Davao de Oro Division was recognized by DepEd-XI to be among its best innovations.
Continuing education among tertiary students is a challenge especially in this time of pandemic. But with linkages formed to deliver support for these learners, VG Maricar was able to give 3,000 students with Php 15,000.00 as educational financial assistance under the Tulong-Dunong Program (TDP) of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) through Tingog Partylist.
Legislative endeavors came flourishing in the Sanggunian. In her 2 years as Vice Governor, she was able to record an impeccable performance as head of the Sanggunian with a significant increase of legislative measures being enacted known to be the highest by far in SP history. She was also instrumental in creating changes that would lead to a more effective and efficient service delivery through simplified and digitized platforms. These includes the Province’s endeavour to become ISO certified.