Step Up Assists Vincentian Missionaries Social Development Foundation

Payatas dumpsite, courtesy of Sean Miller’s blog at

Step Up signs recently a consulting contract with the Vincentian Missionaries Social Development Foundation, Inc. (VMSDFI).  The non-government organization is based in Quezon City and has tasked Step Up to formulate a business plan for a community enterprise that it helped establish in Payatas.

The Journal of Environment and Urbanization (1998) described VMSDFI as “a church-based organization which has been working in the urban slum community of Payatas, Quezon City, since 1991, in pursuit of community development goals for the lowest 20 per cent of the urban poor population.”  Its office is located at 221 Tandang Sora Avenue, NIA Road, Quezon City.

In the initial fieldwork, it was observed that while technical skills and assets are available at the level of the people’s organization assisted by VMSDFI, management skills that would make a community enterprise sustainable is wanting.  Step Up envisions to refocus VMSDFI’s efforts in assisting the organization through the preparation of a business plan suited to the context of both the beneficiary group and the assisting organization. The beneficiary group, in this case, manufactures different products made from waste and other materials.

Lead consultant for this engagement is Mr. Alvin Luis Acuzar assisted by research associate Anthony Tanio.

Step Up Interns Pass CPA Board Exams

Four of Step Up interns in the summer of 2011 passed the recently concluded CPA Board exams.  The interns, who were students of Managing Consultant Michael Cañares who spent their JBAP program in the firm now joins the select few of CPA professionals in the country.

The four interns, now CPAs, are Mr. Jayneil Nacorda, Mr. Frank Lorenzo Pizarras, Ms. Hananera Rasonabe, and Mr. Anthony Dominguez.  Mr. Nacorda is from San Francisco, Agusan del Sur and helped Step Up in its financial management and project evaluation contracts.  Mr. Pizarras, of Tagbilaran City, was involved in the finalisation of the book “Accounting for Non-Accountants” published by HNU Publication Center last year.  Ms. Rasonabe of Calape, Bohol was assigned to financial management and research consulting assignments while Mr. Dominguez of Panglao was involved in both research and capacity building engagements.

Since Step Up started operations ten years back, it has always been its goal to train future professionals in different aspects of consulting work. Step Up’s strength are on financial management, development research, and capacity building and the interns get the sufficient training on these engagements.  The training program at Step Up has been praised by its interns as contextual, productive, challenging, and inspiring.

It can be recalled that one of Step Up’s intern, Mr. Abraham Jose Apit landed 6th place in the October 2011 exams.  Almost a hundred percent of Step Up trainees since its started passed the CPA board exams.

Step Up congratulates the four new CPAs and wishes them success in their future endeavours.

Step Up manager presents paper in Helsinki conference

Managing Consultang of Step Up Consulting Services, Mr. Michael Canares, presented a paper in the recently concluded conference on Climate Change and Development Policy in Finland last 26-28 September 2012.  The conference, attended by more than 150 participants from all over the world was held at the Marina Congress Center in Helsinki and was sponsored by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research.

Mr. Canares presented his paper entitled “The Sudden Shift: What Causes Increased Local Government Response to Climate Change Challenge in the Philippines” in the session on Climate Change and Local Governance.  The paper argues that incorporation of the climate change agenda is more of a result of top-down incorporation than as an agenda understood and owned by local stakeholders.

The paper received mixed reviews with other scholars arguing that the climate change challenge is better responded by macro-actors and instruments especially in the context of mitigation.  Mr. Canares, however, argues, that it is important that local stakeholders are well-informed of the issue and the options for response because ultimately, adaptation measures need to be incorporated to local plans and processes.

Step Up signs 2 new financial management contracts

Step Up Consulting Services starts today work on 2 new financial management contracts that involves preparation of financial statements. The contract signed between the firm and two repeat clients was intended to clean up financial data and prepare financial statements for three periods.

Financial management has been a core expertise of the firm for more than 10 years. The primary services offered by Step Up Consulting when it started in 1998 was training (what Step Up now calls as capacity building) and financial management.  It started with small contracts until of small firms until such time that it was able to handle corporate accounts.  The experience of Step Up on financial management is also extensive – from government institutions, to corporations, and non-profits.

In the past, Step Up has several companies – Save and Earn, Alona Palm Beach Resort and Restaurant, Dagohoy World Travel, Sparks Financing Corporation, Feed the Children Philippines among others. As it embarked on new forms of services, more particularly research, Step Up decided to streamline its financial management services and accepts only select clients in the recent years.