The actual cost of reconstruction in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan is impossible to estimate with any accuracy, but one Philippine government official has started the discussion.  Arsenio Balisacan, economic planning secretary, offered his estimate of the cost to rebuild schools, houses, roads, bridges and other infrastructure in the devastated areas.

“I would not be surprised if it (the cost) can go as high as 250 billion pesos,” he said — roughly $4B.

He pointed out  that the country’s economic fundamentals remained intact, a and thus if the governmetn can  successfully deploy resources for reconstruction, the economy might grow faster than previously. (This is an effect that has been noted in other disaster stricken areas, where reconstruction has been shown to be an economy shot in the arm to the local economy.)

So far, countries and organisations have pledged a total of 10.6 billion pesos (180 million euros) – a fraction of what will be needed in the long term.

In Eastern Samar province, one of the worst affected areas, some isolated communities are yet to receive significant aid despite a massive international relief effort.

Some people in Tacloban are building their own makeshift accommodation, while some 300 families have taken shelter in a convention centre.

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