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Phl needs P7 billion to rebuild quake-hit areas

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - President Benigno Aquino III said today that the government needs at least P7 billion ($162.79 million) to rehabilitate the earthquake- stricken areas in central Philippines, particularly in Bohol province.

Aquino told reporters that his administration could get from the P20-billion ($465.12 million) savings additional funds to augment the insufficient calamity and contingency funds for the rehabilitation and relief assistance for the areas devastated by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake on Oct. 15.

He said that at least 30,000 houses were totally destroyed by the earthquake.

The Department of Public Works and Highways alone needs half a billion peso for the repair of the damaged bridges, he added.

In a separate briefing in Malacanang, the presidential palace, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council executive director Eduardo del Rosario said that the estimated damage incurred on infrastructure amounted to P867.24 million ($20.17 million), bulk of which came from Bohol, the epicenter of the earthquake.

He also said that the government will extend immediate financial assistance of P10,000 ($232.56) each for the families of those who perished due to earthquake, while P5,000 ($116.28) each for those who were injured.

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Latest death toll from the earthquake rose to 186 while 583 people were wounded and 11 others were still missing, he said.

 

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