The North Mindanao Import Facility (NMIF), Shell’s fuel terminal in Cagayan de Oro, the Philippines, started operating in 2016. It is part of the government’s plan to turn Mindanao into a major economic hub and ensure a secure energy supply for the region. But the expansion of the port’s berthing area and occasional noise from the facility began to disrupt members of the local community.

With the help of local authorities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Shell developed a plan to resettle the 83 people affected. The destination: a new village, 9 kilometers away.

Shell consulted closely with the local community to ensure compliance with international standards, and offered housing and financial compensation.

”We adopted a collaborative approach involving stakeholders, such as government agencies, NGOs and the village leaders,” says Mark Brazil, a Community Coordination Officer for NMIF.

Brazil acted as a bridge between Shell and the local community to ensure the resettlement plan reflected the community’s views.

Some families are pleased with the move. "We never expected that one day we would be living on our own land with a beautiful house,” says Leoninia Villacorte, a resident of the village.

But relocation always poses challenges. At first, a different site was identified for subsistence fishermen in the community. But local authorities ruled it out due to safety risks from seasonal flooding.

The Pilipinas Shell Foundation is working to identify alternative employment opportunities. And residents have begun to sell vegetables in a nearby marketplace. They also plan to start a cooperative store.

Aisha Subosa, a former NMIF laboratory analyst, managed quality control for the facility’s fuel products. And as the local community started to build their new lives, Subosa and other NMIF staff volunteered to help. From clearing the area to painting houses, there was plenty of work to go around.

“It’s a tiring day, but it’s all worth it,” says Subosa.


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