VERITAS CONSULTING GROUP
When we arrived here, there was no shortage of professionals eager to provide whatever service we needed; only to discover later that willingness to accept a task was rarely rewarded with the proficiency one expects in the results.
This frustrating yet inescapable truth spanned almost every service, from: immigration, legal matters and real estate to returning a defective product, or finding a good mechanic. No matter the importance of the task at hand or credentials provided, it seemed that disappointment or disaster loomed too close for comfort. For these reasons and our collective track record of advising friends and family we decided to form Veritas Consulting Group. We are a group of experienced business professionals and retirees who have distinguished ourselves in our respective fields by making the right connections with the most able professionals, locally and nationally. Our many years of perseverance has enabled us to rapidly locate and act upon reliable information from the source and to know which legal professional, construction company, realtor or mechanic is the best fit. Furthermore, our reflected value in locating clients for our service providers motivates our service providers for those service providers to discharge their tasks with precision.
The following is an interview with Michael O’Riordan BA, JD. Founder of Veritas Consulting Group and
a long time columnist with the Metro Post.
MP: Why did you decide to start this business venture?
Well, I’m not materially wealthy, but I am financially comfortable, so it wasn’t primarily for
financial reasons. When I came to live, basically to retire in Dumaguete, I was ignorant about every
aspect of life here. Although I’d previously visited the Philippines several times, I arrived into
Dumaguete knowing nobody, and was clueless about the significance cultural differences would play
in my life here. I’m originally from Ireland but spent most of my adult life in Europe, North America,
Central America, and South America. Because of those experiences, I naively believed I’d have little
difficulty adapting to life here. But there was more, much more, I would quickly learn. Some of those
lessons would be uncomfortable.
MP: Was that part of the reason you started this new business?
That was not only partly, but primarily, the reason why. I’m a firm believer in helping others to
avoid making the mistakes I’ve made and, God knows, I’ve made so many not only throughout my
lifetime, and also since I came here.
Any single foreigner retiring here is , to some extent, vulnerable to not only the joys but also to the
few negative aspects of Philippine society. Many of us arrive here battered and bruised from life, after
failed marriages and other disappointing relationships. The exceptional physical beauty and magnetic
allure of Pinays is sometimes difficult for us foreigners to resist. The consequences can be disturbing,
and are sometimes more than that. Our C.I.P. (Cultural Immersion Program) helps identify potential
problem areas in advance while also making foreigners aware of the process involved in opening bank
accounts, renting property, and the different way many aspects of life operate here. Foreigners must
learn to understand we are guests privileged to be living in this beautiful country. Failure to truly
embrace that reality can be highly detrimental, and will ultimately become self defeating.
Also, business is done significantly different here than in the Western world. Some Filipinos,
fortunately only a few, have no hesitation in behaving without integrity towards foreigners who they
assume to be financially wealthy solely because they are foreigners. I’m unfortunately an example of
a bad business experience with a Pinay. Fortunately, there was no romantic involvement, but I’m still
owed seven figures in pesos from this individual. It’s being slowly repaid, but the process is more
painful than having root canal work done without anesthesia.
And its not only Filipinos who can be the problem. When I first arrived, I rented accommodation from
a foreigner who was charming and fun to be with. It was only recently I discovered he has been a
major conman all his adult life. He’s continued his horrid behavior since he arrived in the Dumaguete.
His recent victim was a personal friend of mine, a professional I’d referred him to, whose services he
retained. He never paid and never will pay any fees owed. Another unfortunate aspect to his
unethical, amoral behavior is it reflects badly on other honorable foreigners whose credibility may
now, justifiably, be questioned.
MP: What is your target market?
Our client focus is any foreigner already living in the Dumaguete area, or one presently living in
Europe or North America who is considering coming to live here. It also includes successful Filipinos
living in the Philippines,or abroad, who are also considering retirement here.
MP: How specifically can you assist these people?
We have identified over forty areas where we can connect foreigners with high quality
professionals and service companies. It could be something as simple as where to rent a home, buy a
car, or get a home loan. Or it could be more challenging such as visas, or immigration, civil law issues,
tax issues, setting up a business, how to best incorporate, build a dream retirement home, or buy an
already built home. Our website https://vcg.ph provides a comprehensive explanation of all our
We also consider in depth Due Diligence as vital for the protection and safely for any transaction in
which a foreigner becomes involved. Our experience has shown us that some of the worst problems
arise when foreigners fail to exercise caution. They result can be, and often is, calamitous.
MP: Is there a fee for your services?
Absolutely, We provide a cost effective and significantly less emotionally draining experience
for our clients. Veritas Consulting Group was an expensive and time consuming business to set up. It is
also costly to maintain and continue providing such a comprehensive range of services. Despite that,
our fees are modest and actually insignificant in the long term when our clients enjoy peace of mind
and high quality work from the professionals and service companies we have referred them to.
Let’s take one example that explains the value we provide. If a client is involved in a civil action, we
always bear in mind which attorney is most appropriate to handle the case. One attorney is excellent
in mediation and avoiding going to court, another is known as the toughest defence attorney for civil
cases. The attorney we recommend will depend on the case involved. The fact we have vital insight is
of incalculable value to our clients. And our expertise is not available anywhere else.
MP: How did the impact of your early experiences here lead you to create the business? And what
do you provide that’s so special or perhaps unique?
When I, and my colleagues at Veritas Consulting Group arrived here, there were no shortage of
professionals eager to address any of the many concerns we had. Unfortunately, we belatedly found
that their willingness to accept a task was rarely followed by efficiency or an ability to provide solid
This frustrating but inescapable reality pervaded every area from professional services to service
companies. Problem areas Included immigration, legal issues, and real estate, to returning a defective
product, or finding a good car mechanic. Regardless of the matter in question, or the seemingly solid
credentials provided, it seemed than disappointment and nonperformance was the norm rather than
the exception. For those reasons, which created a vast reservoir of frustration and unnecessary
expenses, and because of our collective record for successfully advising friend and family, we decided
to form Vertias Consulting Group.
We are experienced and successful business professionals and retirees who have distinguished
ourselves in our respective fields. We have established relationships at the highest level with
professionals and service companies both locally and nationally.
Our perseverance over the years has enabled us to acquire the expertise to rapidly locate and act
upon reliable information from the best sources and to know which attorney, construction company,
realtor, or mechanic is the most appropriate fit for our clients. Additionally, our value in finding
qualified clients for our service providers motivates them to consistently provide good quality service.
I believe that a line on our web site home page aptly describes our core mission. It says “We remove
the guesswork about life in the Philippines. We are the professional alternative to optimism.” And we
are. We provide efficient and cost effective solutions to almost all the problems facing foreigners or
Filipinos already living in Dumaguete, or planning to come here. Identifying problems and providing
solutions is at the core of our business mission. We provide an essential service that’s long overdue.
I’m proud to be part of the solution to problems that have confronted newcomers to Dumaguete for
far too long, but not any more.
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