THE Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) recently opened the Global Passenger Terminal, the first passenger ship terminal in the country, to accommodate international cruise ships traveling around the Asia-Pacific region. "This new manifestation of our march towards the fulfillment of the objectives of the SBMA is a remarkable achievement. This is our continued commitment to make Subic a maritime ingredient in world commerce," SBMA chair Feliciano Salonga said. Global Terminal and Development, Inc. (GTDI) has infused more than P160 million to transform the 18-hectare former military port facility into a one-stop cruise ship facility complemented with passenger and tourist parks, a warehouse, a grain storage facility and ship repair yard. "This passenger terminal is certainly long overdue. As early as 1993, when we first converted Subic from a military installation, we really saw the need of establishing a world-class passenger terminal," SBMA administrator Armand Arreza added. He said what SBMA really wants to see is for the Ship Repair Facility to become a world-class maritime facility catering to international passengers and cruise ships. "Investments like this signify the intent of the private sector to develop Subic into a world-class tourism establishment." The cruise terminal is part of the SBMA Port Development Plan, which aims to develop the full-range of passenger and cargo handling capability of Subic Bay Freeport and make it more competitive as a regional trade hub in Asia.