By Ed G. Yu
Veni, vidi, vici.
He came, he saw, he conquered in a snap the hearts of Bicolano and Bicolana officials and employees of NIA Bicol the first time he set foot in its regional office as its new director one September morning in 2014.
Unlike the Roman emperor Julius Caesar, to whom the Latin phrase is attributed, Director Vicente R. Vicmudo came, saw and conquered Bicolandia not with swords and chariots of soldiers but with his boundless and contagious smile emanating deep within his gracious heart.
With a doctorate in Rural Development, countless distinguished awards and recognitions and vast experience as a manager, Director Vicmudo straightaway hit the ground running by coming up with a catchphrase STRIVE NIA Region 5 to let his people know his vision for the region.
STRIVE stands for Strategic Reforms and Initiatives for Viability Enhancement.
To get the support and rally his people to share this vision and direction, he launched a slogan making contest that produced the official motto “NIA Region 5: Striving Together for the Better.”
He also composed a credo titled “I Believe” to ensure that NIA personnel will internalize the slogan instead of just paying lip service to it like most employees do in some government agencies and offices.
With that organizational vision firmly in place, Director Vicmudo, the only high-ranking NIA official who uses Facebook as a management tool to constantly keep in touch with his people, also initiated meaningful physical improvements inside the regional office compound, which in turn inspired other NIA offices in Bicol to follow suit.
Premised on the principle that a beautiful and comfortable working environment is conducive to increased productivity, he caused the repainting of roofs and fences, repairs of restrooms, improvement of parking spaces and undertook a cleanliness drive within the various offices and vacant lots in the compound. He also spearheaded the planting of some 200 mahogany trees inside the 2.5 hectares NIA compound in Naga City, which are now fast growing as they are well-cared for.
Furthermore, he likewise gave the façade of the regional office with a new look by putting up a mural and signages, including the eight pillars welcoming employees and visitors as they pass by the pedestrian gate.
True to his words of transforming the NIA office into a “Paraiso para sa mga magsasaka,” the good-natured and well-loved director put up three brand new huts, which he named “Kubo kan Paraoma ” as a concrete tribute to the strong partnership between NIA and the farmer-irrigators.
The latest addition or shall we say attraction of sort inside the regional office compound is a mini-waterfalls, its clear continuous falling water according to Chinese Feng Shui, symbolizes life and abundance.
For Director Vicmudo, who made the mini-waterfalls a reality, its rushing water, flowing with vigor and power, represents the determination and perseverance of the men and women behind NIA Region 5 to strive together for the better.