All Systems Go for Business Continuity Management

by Kath Alfaro

Nobody saw the pandemic coming. COVID-19 affected our homes and our workplace. The implementation of restrictions and the series of lockdowns took a toll on everything.

Who would have thought that a public health crisis would hit us and drastically change life as we know it? NLEX had to rethink its work processes in order to cope with the challenges arising from the pandemic. It may take time for things to go back to the way they were before. Or, perhaps, things will never be the same again.

Companies now realize that the failure to anticipate and prepare for threats such as the pandemic will lead to substantial financial losses. The longer it takes for a company to cope with new challenges, the more it loses touch with both its suppliers and stakeholders. While there is a need to get back on track as soon as possible, companies may have to deal with some issues before it can be done.

It’s no wonder that business continuity is now top priority for organizations who want to ensure continuing profitability, sustainability, and organizational resilience while navigating through the so-called new normal.

In 2019, months before COVID-19 happened, NLEX Corporation had already started looking into ISO 22301, which is also known as Business Continuity Management System (BCMS). The management saw the need to protect the company from threats to its operations and ensure that in case disruptions occur, we are equipped with the resources needed to restore critical processes as soon as possible, minimizing the impact to both the company and its stakeholders. Led by Finance/Enterprise Risk Management team, NLEX Corporation started our BCMS journey.

What is a Business Continuity Management System?

Business continuity is defined as the capability of an organization to continue delivery of products and services within the acceptable time frames at predefined capacity during a disruption.

With the BCMS framework, NLEX aims to prevent, respond, and recover from future disruptions while taking the interest of stakeholders into consideration.

The NLEX Corporation BCMS Policy

The NLEX Corporation, being the leading company engaged in the development, design, construction, finance, operation, and management of toll road projects, realizes the importance of the continued delivery of our services to all interested parties, and to protect the investment of our stakeholders.

Our key processes must continue, else it will affect not only the continuity of the businesses using our facilities, but the safety of the general riding public as well.

We maintain a year-round calendar for conducting tests and exercises, and maintenance of the plans to ensure they remain current, relevant, adequate, and fit for use. 

All NLEX personnel, and relevant third-party personnel are made aware of the plans that affect their respective functions and processes, as well as their role following the plan’s activation.

The following are the key objectives of NLEX’s business continuity management system:

  • Establish adequate levels of prevention and resilience in NLEX services to mitigate the impact of a potential disaster or other disruptions to business continuity;
  • Protect and support NLEX employees, assets and business in the event of a disruption and recover and restore critical activities and support functions in a pre-defined time period as documented in the business continuity plans and procedures;
  • Resume normal business activities within the best possible timeframe to meet the business, contractual, legal and regulatory requirements that NLEX is adhering to;
  • Impart importance and benefits of business continuity to all employees and, relevant external parties through awareness programs which are periodically evaluated for relevance and effectiveness;
  • Ensure necessary arrangements are made with 3rd-party suppliers so they will be able to support NLEX in the event of a disruption.

BCMS Activities for 2021

The first internal audit of the BCMS was conducted on June 22 to 24 this year. The company’s adherence to ISO 22301:2019 requirements was assessed. Following the audit, the Business Continuity Plans (BCP) for critical processes was tested from September 1 to 3. Through these exercises, gaps in the plans and implementation of the system as well as opportunities for improvement were identified. Ultimately, with everyone’s commitment and active participation, the BCMS would enable NLEX to survive disruptions that threaten. The company is looking forward to getting the system certified by next year.


The BCMS Team headed by Ronald Dulatre meets with consultant Richard Regalado.

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