Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Metro for Christmas

MANILA, The Philippines -- President Joseph Estrada inaugurated a suburban rail system for his crowded capital Wednesday, saying it was a Christmas gift to the people of Manila.

The 10-kilometer track is the first part of an elevated rail system that officials say will ultimately save some 10 million man hours each week that now are lost in traffic jams.

Estrada cut a ribbon at the entrance to the terminus in the suburb of Quezon City and rode the length of the track to the edge of the Makati business district.

The $655 million first phase of the MRTC system will be completed by mid-2000. Another $235 million project, when approved by the government, will complete a north-south loop connecting to both ends of an existing light rail system.