Manila plans head south
CONCERN about an economic downturn in the Philippines has prompted property developer Ayala Land to withdraw from the proposed Manila - Calabazon railway upgrading and rehabilitation project. The company had envisaged a build-operate-transfer scheme to develop commuter rail services linked to property development south of the capital, but it no longer considers this viable without government funding. Other firms are reported to have expressed interested since Ayala's withdrawal, including South Korea's Daewoo International.
Meanwhile, SNC Lavalin hopes to start work in November on a US$865m extension of light rail Line 1 south to Cavite, with the aim of having the 12 km route open by 2005.