The Norwegian Training Center Manila (NTC-M) in close cooperation with the Philippines Norway Business Council (PNBC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and Department of Energy chartered the vessel M/V Kapitan Felix Oca to deliver relief aid to Tacloban.
The response from NGOs and others wanting to ship relief goods on the Kapitan Felix Oca was almost overwhelming. The vessel left Manila bound for Tacloban on Wednesday, November 13 loaded with about 100 metric tonnes of emergency relief cargo and personnel:
- WHO shipped a medical team of 16-20 persons and around 6 tons of medical equipment
- The Department of Energy shipped around 4 tons of equipment and 5 staff
- The Norwegian Training Center Manila (NTC-M) purchased 6,000 “family packs” consisting of food and water
- 400 kgs of mining equipment and 23 rescuers were on board
- SMART Telecom shipped communications equipment to restore telephone communications
- The Norwegian Embassy in Manila contributed with PHP 100,000 worth of assorted foodstuffs, water and sanitary articles
- In addition, the ship carried an unknown amount of relief goods provided by NGOs and other entities
160 cadets from NTC were on board to help repack and distribute the goods. The ship arrived in Tacloban around 8 AM on Friday, November 15. Jøran Nøstvik of NTC was also on board.
– I have been in Tacloban several times before, but I almost didn’t recognize it now. The city looked like it had been bombed. When the ship approached Tacloban, all the crew went silent. We’d seen the photos, but we were not prepared for what we saw with our own eyes, said Nøstvik.
He said cooperation with authorities went smoothly.
– The Coast Guard met us off the coast of Tacloban and followed us to port to avoid plundering. Once at berth we were met by representatives from four different government departments, as well as AFP (military) and PNP (police) personnel.
By Saturday, November 16 the ship was unloaded and the goods distributed by the Red Cross and local government agencies to hospitals and families in the area. The same afternoon, Kapitan Felix Oca left Tacloban for Manila to stock up on relief goods and continue distribution to other provinces hard to reach by land and air.