Business and the BIG ONE Forum

A series of conversations and collaborative action focusing on collective preparedness by businesses in cooperation with government, communities and other sectors of society.
New World Center, Makati, 27 April, 2017
Key Note Speakers

  • Earthquakes and the Big One - Mr. Renato Solidum Jr.
  • Structural Risk Measures for Businesess- Engr. Adam Abinales
  • Open Forum – Mr. Ramon Isberto
  • Plans and Protocols for the Big One – MMDA
  • Business Preparedness Checklist – Mr. Richard Regalado


The first Business and the Big One Conference was held in July 2015 where experts and corporate leaders discussed the impact of a big earthquake in Metro Manila and Valley Fault System. The forum provided an opportunity for participants to raise questions on the continuity of businesses, nature of risks and likely damages specific to each of the four quadrants. The Quadrant Initiative (TQI) was created and launched as an avenue for companies to begin and sustain discussions and develop collaborative actions to support and intensify preparedness initiatives by companies, including the families of their employees and the adjacent communities.

Later in 2016, the North Quadrant was formed that led to 30 companies meeting to exchange ideas and lessons relevant to their business continuity and emergency preparedness plans, including their participation in the National Shake Drill.



The AmCham Foundation Philippines, Inc. in partnership with the Corporate Network for Disaster Response held the Business and The Big One Forum II on the 27TH of April at the New World Hotel, Makati City. The forum saw a huge response with over 150 guests from different corporates with over 150 participants. The keynote speakers were Dr Renato Solidum Jr, the Undersecretary of the Department of Science and Technology, Engr Adam Abinales, President of the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines, Mr Ramon Santiago, Public Safety Consultant, MMDF and Mr Richard Regaldo, CNDR Consultant.

The forum was launched in response to the series of earthquakes that rocked the country recently, especially the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Carraga region and resulted in deaths and damage to property. The call for preparedness in the wake of a big earthquake that could occur at the West Valley Fault or Manila Trench areas was a driving factor of the forum. The speakers delivered highly engaging presentations with updates on the recent earthquake events, government preparedness plans and protocols, managing risks to infrastructure and private sector preparedness. There were video clips on previous disasters that emphasized the need to address stability concerns, the need for community action and the coming together of minds.


Key Talks
Mr. Chris Nelson, Vice President of the Amcham foundation gave the opening remarks. Mr. Renato’s key message was focused on extreme preparedness in the wake of extreme hazards. His presentation outlined the epicenters along the Philippines, the active fault zones and trenches. He presented facts on the previous earthquakes, the magnitude of each of those and the casualties incurred. He directed the audience to focus on when will the disaster happen rather than where. The goal in the event of a disaster is to reduce losses, ensure effective and efficient performance of critical processes in business, delivery of core services with minimal and acceptable disruption and ability to return to normalcy. The key takeaway was to respond and recover in the wake of extreme events, to have a science based hazard and risk scenario and work in coordination with the government at the regional and national level. The actions for disaster management was to identify the hazard, assess the hazard and risks and the impact scenario.

The key message was
“Extreme preparedness
in the wake of extreme disasters”


The technical presentation by Mr. Adam focused on the assessment of structures, structural integrity, indicators for vulnerable structures and the enforcement of a structural code and regular inspection of critical elements in a building. The distribution of active faults was also discussed to the audience. Real examples of the recent earthquake in Batangas were cited and also two damage scenarios and the possible casualties in the worst case damage scenarios were presented to the audience. His focus was earthquake hazard mitigation – to know where hazards are – active faults, no build zones, dangerous slopes and enforce the building code.


Mr. Ramon from the Metro Manila Development Authority spoke about MMDA’s role and its strategic plan and humanitarian assistance plans for the Big One. Mr. Ramon shared the projections of damage in each quadrant and the potential fire outbreak in Metro Manila. He also spoke of how the MMDA is actively involved in engaging with churches, business, government agencies in the earthquake drill. Mr. Ramon portrayed the role of MMDA in the equipment set up and disaster response equipment and tools such as shelter and generators, mobile command center, water purifiers in the wake of a disaster. Mr. Ramon also pointed out the need for DRRM capacity building trainings, community and family preparedness and multisectoral hazards. The presentation also spoke of a contingency plan carried out by MMDA, NGAs and other stakeholders operating in NCR in response to the occurrence of a very strong earthquake affecting Metro Manila.



The audience during the open forum raised questions on the fear of the unknown and asked for practical tips on work continuity in the wake of an earthquake. Another participant raised the question on family preparedness. The speakers provided pointers on evacuation procedures and best practices practices for health care centers, offices and mapping of employee locations.

The feedback from the participants was very positive with good ratings on all the presentations by the speakers. The participants expressed their appreciation of the forum and usefulness of topics that helped build their understanding and knowledge of the subjects on disaster preparedness and risk management and valley faults.

The Big One forum has addressed disaster risks and management in all its dimensions and the need to build a robust system in the wake of a disaster and the ability to recover from its effects in a timely and efficient manner, including the preservation and restoration of its essential basic structures and functions.

“Dr. Solidum’s topic was useful.”

Joel, Genpact Services

“Topics were relevant,
ability to laymanize complex terminology,
practical examples useful.”

Elini, Chevron