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Philippines says typhoon rebuilding cost may be up to $5.8 billion

Typhoon Haiyan victims queue outside Tacloban airport for a C-130 military mercy flight to Manila, in Tacloban, central Philippines November
Typhoon Haiyan victims queue outside Tacloban airport for a C-130 military mercy flight to Manila, in Tacloban, central Philippines November

MANILA (Reuters) - The cost of rebuilding houses, schools, roads and bridges in typhoon-devastated central Philippines could reach 250 billion pesos ($5.8 billion), making it likely that the government will seek cheap loans from development agencies, a senior official said on Tuesday.

If the government is successful in deploying resources for post-typhoon reconstruction, the economy may even grow faster, said Arsenio Balisacan, economic planning secretary, adding the country's strong economic fundamentals remained intact.

"I would not be surprised if it can go as high as 250 billion," Balisacan told Reuters, commenting on the likely cost of reconstruction.

($1 = 43.4 Philippine pesos)

(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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