MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Philippines will need nearly $3 billion to rebuild parts of the country destroyed by the deadliest typhoon in its history, President Aquino told reporters in Japan on Friday.
He added that scores of towns and cities across the central islands that were devastated by super typhoon Yolanda needed national government help to clean up debris and restore damaged infrastructure.
“The task is really daunting, is it not? That’s why we are saying it will take about P130 billion ($2.94 billion) to put everybody in at least a better situation than where they were,” he said, according to a transcript released by Malacañang palace.
Yolanda smashed across the central islands with peak winds of 315 kilometers (195 miles) an hour on November 8, unleashing tsunami-like storm surges that killed thousands of people on the islands of Leyte and Samar.
The official death toll stood Saturday at 6,033, with the authorities still looking for 1,779 people listed as missing.
About a million houses were also destroyed, leaving four million people homeless, according to the government’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Tropical Storm Thelma, which killed about 5,100 people on the Leyte city of Ormoc in 1991, was previously the deadliest storm recorded in the Philippines, which is hit by about 20 typhoons and tropical storms each year.
Aquino was speaking on the sidelines of a summit between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Palace said. (MNS)