Step Up at the 2019 Annual FOI Awards

awarding FOI
Michael Canares flanked by Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan,  Assistant Secretary Policy, Special Concerns, and Freedom of Information Project Management Office, and Undersecretary George Apacible, Undersecretary for Good Governance, Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) and Finance during the awarding ceremonies held at the Manila Peninsula Hotel on December 12, 2019.   

Step Up Managing Consultant, Michael Canares, was one of the personalities outside of government recognized in the recent 2019 Annual FOI Awards. His contributions to the Philippine government’s thrust of making government information accessible to the public was a major reason for the award.

Canares has been at the forefront in the advocacy for more transparent and accountable governments in the last five years, starting off with Step Up’s very first research project, “Opening the Gates:  Will Open Data Make Governments in the Philippines More Transparent” a project funded by Canada’s International Development Research Center.  The project was implemented in Bohol, Bulacan, and South Cotabato.  It was followed by  “Enhancing Citizen Engagement with Open Government Data” project implemented in the provinces of Negros Oriental and Bohol.

Since then, Canares has worked in several transparency and accountability projects in the Philippines, including in the areas of open government, open contracting, and more recently, freedom of Information.  Canares leads the  Increasing People’s Access to Public Contracting Information Through the FOI Program funded by HIVOS and implemented in partnership with the Freedom of Information – Project Management Office of the Philippine government.

 

Step Up Celebrates Christmas 2013

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Step Up team during the Christmas gathering in December 2013.

The team of Step Up Consulting chose to celebrate Christmas 2013 in a simple but meaningful gathering held at Dao Diamond Hotel in Tagbilaran City last 21 December 2013.  The activity gathered the consultants, researchers, and administrative staff of the firm who were involved in its various projects in 2013.  

It has been a tradition of Step Up Consulting  to gather its team every end of the year to say thank you to the people that has contributed to the achievements of the firm.  For ten years now, Step Up Consulting has benefited from the competence and commitment of its pool of consultants, researchers, and administrative staff who, despite their work commitments elsewhere, contributed expertise and dedication to the firm’s projects.

From a company that started offering services by using computers at internet cafes, Step Up Consulting has grown into a firm that earned the respect not only of Philippine companies but also organizations based abroad.  Originally, it offered management consulting services to for-profit institutions but now, the firm’s portfolio is largely composed of government agencies and non-governmental organizations. Step Up’s services also as expanded to research and evaluation, and capacity building.

Despite the natural calamities that affected the province of Bohol and the country in the last quarter of the year, the company is still thankful because its team members delivered its commitments to clients and share resources to those affected by the calamity.