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 trains three new students in various consulting work

Step Up Consulting Services trains three new students in various consulting works starting last April. The three students are incoming senior accountancy students of Holy Name University – Mari Abigael Antoni, Anthony Tanio, and Joseph Lago.

The students were exposed to the use of accounting software Quickbooks, preparation of tax returns, and other administrative works. They were also engaged in financial management, more particularly in the review of financial statements of 10 provincial government units across the country.

As the managing consultant is consistently on travel, the trainees were managed by remote and physically supervised by the administrative officer of the firm. This is a new arrangement where all meetings, outputs, and instructions are done online.  There were only limited times when the trainees were supervised physically by the managing consultant.

This is a challenging set-up. But Step Up is not new to this arrangement. In 2011, Step Up evaluated a three country program with a team composed of Dr. Lawrence based in the UK, Ms. Soriaga based in Manila, and Mr. Canares based in Bohol who also travels to Cambodia and Vietnam.  The engagement was completed in 6 months with the consultants only meeting online.

The trainees said that they learned so much, even under this set up. A processing of learning will soon be conducted with the trainees at the close of their engagement with the firm.