Philippine capital Manila was hit by the heaviest rain in more than four decades over the weekend.
As the death toll soared to 140, anger mounted over what was seen as an inadequate response from the government.
There was a massive failure in government and the direction of management response, said Mario Taguiwalo, president of the National Institute for Policy Studies think-tank.
The root cause is you have a government whose predominant preoccupation is with graft and corruption -- how to steal more money from the people, Taguiwalo said.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered an emergency center be set up in the presidential palace Monday. Arroyo called the typhoon an extreme event that has strained our response capabilities to the limit.
It's a once-in-a-lifetime typhoon, she said in a statement. We are continuing the rescue efforts until everyone in danger is accounted for.
At least 450,000 people were affected, including about 150,000 displaced.
Officials said the economic damage from the worst rains on record in the Manila area was about 1.4 billion pesos ($30 million), including 500 million pesos in lost crops.
Officials expected the toll to rise with people looking for missing relatives and residents trapped in flooded houses two days after the disaster.
Schools were ordered closed, but financial markets were open Monday and public transport was operating. Offices and businesses were open, but attendance was poor.