Philippines: US$3 bln needed for post-Haiyan rebuilding

The Philippines will need about PHP130 billion (US$2.95 billion) billion to rebuild the various parts of the country destroyed by the deadliest typhoon in its history, Super Typhoon Haiyan, according to President Benigno Aquino.

“It will take about PHP130 billion to put everybody in at least a better situation than where they were,” the Philippine media reported citing a transcript of what Mr Aquino told reporters during his visit to Japan that was released by Malacañang Palace.

Haiyan slammed the central Philippine islands with peak winds on 8 November. The official death toll stands at 6,033 to date, with the authorities still looking for 1,779 people listed as missing. About a million houses were destroyed, leaving four million people homeless, according to the government’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

However, Haiyan’s impact on the insurance industry is set to be relatively small because the Philippines has one of the lowest non-life insurance penetration rates in the region. Estimates of the expected insurance payout for losses incurred in the disaster range from US $100 million to US$700 million.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is working to promote low-cost disaster insurance for the Philippines. Mr Ramesh Subramaniam, ADB deputy director for Southeast Asia, said last month that the proposed insurance system would provide coverage for industries deemed crucial to the livelihood of local communities, such as fishing.