The government declared a “state of calamity” in metropolitan Manila and about two dozen storm-hit provinces, said Defence Secretary Gilberto Teodoro, who heads the National Disaster Coordinating Council.
Nearly 2,000 people were evacuated in Manila and surrounding areas, a disaster council report said.
The mayor of Cainta in nearby Rizal province, who was stranded on a dump truck on a road that was neck-deep in water, told ABS-CBN television by phone that many residents climbed onto roofs to escape.
“The whole town is almost 100 per cent underwater,” Mayor Mon Ilagan said.
A dozen flights in and out of the central and northern Philippines were cancelled because of poor visibility, airport officials said.