Taipei, Dec. 5 (CNA) Public and private donors in Taiwan have offered over NT$300 million (US$10.13 million) in goods and aid to the typhoon-struck Philippines
, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday, the same day that a naval vessel returned after sending another 530 metric tons of supplies. Taiwan's government pledged US$200,000 to the Philippines
after Typhoon Haiyan swept through the country Nov. 8, Vice Foreign Minister Simon Ko said, calling the relief mission successful thanks to collaboration between the public and private sector. Taiwan became the first country to send transport planes loaded with goods after the storm, which left nearly 6,000 dead as of Thursday, with media in the Philippines
reporting that Taiwan had its supplies ready before any other country. Government agencies, including the defense ministry and agriculture council, worked together to load relief supplies onto military aircrafts and ships to send to those left displaced and cut off by the disaster, the ministry said. A total of 18 flights of military C-130 cargo planes, loaded with a total of 150 metric tons of supplies and necessities, was sent over the weeks and days following the deadly storm.
Taiwan's aid to its southern neighbor was met with gratitude from Philippine officials, with the country's President Benigno Aquino III reportedly calling Taiwan a friend in need for its quick response. On Thursday, a Republic of China Navy craft, the Chung He, returned to southern Taiwan after bringing rations, clothing, generators and prefabricated houses to the central Philippines. (By Tang Pei-chun and Lilian Wu)