The Philippines' largest conglomerate claims its plan to upgrade Manila airport - ranked as one of the world's worst - won't cost the government a single peso, its president told CNBC on Tuesday.
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport was rated the world's worst airport in 2013 by a number of online traveler surveys, including sleepinginairports.net. Travelers criticized its dilapidated facilities, long waiting times and rude officials.
But things could be looking up for the airport, which struggles to handle 32 million passengers a year despite having the capacity for only six million, amid a number of proposals in response to government plans to renovate the airport, most recently from San Miguel Corporation.
The company took the government by surprise when it unveiled an unsolicited proposal to build a new airport for $10 billion in May and claimed it could be up and running in five years.
"Our proposal is much cheaper [than the others put forward] at the cost of private investors rather than government money... we can recover this ourselves without one peso coming from the government," said Roman Ang president and chief operating officer of San Miguel Corporation.
"This will be a magnet to attract foreign investment into tourism and manufacturing and I think this will be really good for our country," he added.
Ang said the company would recover the $10 billion it invests from passenger terminal fees, aircraft landing and takeoff fees, and from commercial shopping center and hotel charges.
Aside from the San Miguel proposal, two other plans have been put forward, including a proposal from the Japan International Cooperation Agency to turn a former U.S. Air Force base - Sangley Point - which is located south of the city, into a new airport capable of handling 66 million passengers by 2025 and 100 million by 2040.
Another is the expansion of Clark International Airport - another former U.S. Air Force base 60 miles north of Manila. This proposal would only cost $166 million and the facility would be able to manage 14.5 million passengers. However, the expansion of Clark would likely be a complement to one of the other proposals.