NICASIO “NICK” A. CONTI: Serving with Honor

December 13, 2018
Nicasio A. Conti
Nicasio A. Conti

Academic scholar, brilliant lawyer, distinguished public servant, Atty. Nick Conti wishes his fellow San Pascualeños discernment and wisdom in selecting their leaders for the next three years.

Nicasio A. Conti is a lawyer who hails from Barangay San Antonio, San Pascual, Batangas who has committed to live a life of public service since 1998.

Atty. Nick – as he is commonly called – first served as Legal Consultant in the Office of the Press Secretary of the Philippine Information Agency and the Philippine Heart Center from 2001 to 2002. As he turned 30, he was appointed by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as Presidential Assistant at the Office of the President and Assistant Secretary at the Office of the Presidential Chief of Staff in 20003 until 2004. During this period, he was the administration’s answer in its early fight against corruption through the Transparency Group, an ad-hoc team he led, created to conduct lifestyle checks on various government officials and employees suspected to be having lifestyles beyond their means. For this, he was recognized as “Outstanding Law Enforcer for 2004” by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC). Out of his experience in good governance, he authored a primer on corruption entitled “To Serve With Honor”.

With him leading the campaign against corruption, he was appointed as Commissioner of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission from 2004 to 2005 and Commissioner of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) from 2005 to 2008. After serving at PCGG, Atty. Nick was appointed as Deputy Administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) in March 2010 until his resignation in October 2015. He also briefly served as Officer-in-Charge of MARINA in April 2012 until May 2013. At this same period, he also served as Board Member of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). Atty. Nick was instrumental in establishing MARINA as the “Single Maritime Administration” responsible in overlooking the implementation of the Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention, through Executive Order No. 75, series of 2012, which was signed by former President Noynoy Aquino.

In MARINA, Atty. Nick pursued working on reforms of the “shipping industry” through strict implementation of International Safety Managament Code to push for the Philippines as “registry of choice” to attract foreign “shipyard companies” to invest in the country.

Due to his diligent work at MARINA which brought changes in the “Maritime Industry” he was given recognition by the Alliance of MARINA Employees (AME), the Philippine Association of Maritime Institutions (PAMI), the Philippines Association of Maritime Training Centers Inc. (PAMTCI) and the United Filipino Seafarers.

Through all his successes – and corresponding recognition for job well done – Atty. Nick is a role model who refused to be discouraged by life’s hard reality and pursued a path centered on prayers and hard work. His perseverance bore fruit when he graduated from High School at St. Theresa’s Academy in Bauan in 1990 as Valedictorian. This paved the way for him to enroll at San Beda College in Manila where he finished Bachelor of Arts, Major Economics in 1994 cum laude and Class Salutatorian. He subsequently enrolled at San Beda’s College of Law and earned his Bachelor of Laws in 1998.

Aside from this, he also underwent different studies and training workshops such as “Corruption Studies” at the University of Hong Kong in 2003 as a scholar of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), “Public Reform Course” at the University of Bradford, United Kingdom in 2008 as a scholar of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of United Kingdom, “Maritime Public Leaders’ Programme” at the Nanyang Technical University in Singapore in 2011, “Workshop on National Legal Implementation of the ILO-MLC” in Turin, Italy in 2011, among others.

Atty. Nick is married to San Pascual Mayor Rosario Anna Victoria “Roanna” Y. Dinglasan and they have three lovely children: Naomi Rose “Omi” D. Conti; Rocio Nikola “Rio” D. Conti; and Nicasio Angelo Koji “Nico” D. Conti Jr.

The pillar of the Conti family and San Pascualeños

A gentleman of the first order, Atty. Nick is the pillar of the Conti family and of San Pascualeños being the husband of Mayor Roanna Dinglasan Conti who is now considered the “Ina” or mother of the rapidly progressing town of San Pascual. To complement Women’s Journal’s cover feature on San Pascual’s leading administrators, we talked briefly with this intellectual with a quiet charm and genial demeanor. Here are his random thoughts, his words of wisdom culled from experiencing life with family and community.

“We all live on borrowed time and because of this I always make sure to spend quality time with my family. I typically start my day joining my children for breakfast before they go to school. A normal work day for me consists of hours spent on meetings with my principals and clients that usually last into the evening.

“The Lord has blessed me with a life that exceeded my original goals and ambitions, and I am deeply humbled by this. I have a beautiful and loving wife and healthy children. I cannot ask for more. As far as my professional goals are concerned, I have been always drawn by the calling of public service. I have served the government in various capacities for more than 15 years. I was one of the youngest Assistant Secretaries under the Office of the President during the term of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. I also became a Commissioner of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission and the Presidential Commission on Good Government. During President Noynoy Aquino’s term, I was appointed Administrator (OIC) of the Maritime Industry Authority. I am only 45 years old and I feel I have so much more to offer to the public. I know God has something planned for me and I am just excited and already looking forward to serving the people in whatever capacity.

“Five years from now, I see myself as a successful entrepreneur, a happy and doting father of my kids, and a prime mover of sorts dedicated to serve my community and the country. I perceive myself immersed in major development projects in the country, living up to the expectation of the people I have worked with and am currently working with who see me as an enabler, finisher and somebody capable of bridging gaps and plugging holes. My years in government and extensive experience dealing with people from all walks of life have prepared me well for this. My faith and prayers to the Almighty have strengthened and sustained me. The future appears bright and I am already looking forward to sharing this with my family and my community.

“My wife and I were raised in a traditional setting and we have passed on this tradition to our kids. We would hear mass together followed by the much awaited gift opening and a simple dinner to cap off the evening. Christmas is about giving and we always make sure to share our blessings to the less fortunate in our municipality. This is more than just a personal tradition. We do it because we want to help in our own small way.

“Health is wealth and nothing is more fulfilling than seeing your loved ones in good health. My only wish for my family is a healthy 2019 free from sickness and disease. I pray to God to grant me a life long enough to be of service to my fellowmen. And for my fellow San Pascualeños, 2019 is election year and I wish for their discernment and wisdom in selecting their leaders for the next 3 years. For our country, I wish for the Holy Spirit to sweep across the entire country and plant in each and every individual’s heart seeds of gratitude and forgiveness.”