October 11, 2011:
South Korea is donating one of its recently retired Po Hang class corvettes to the Philippines Navy. The Po Hangs are 1,200 ton warships that first entered service in 1984. Since then 24 have been built. Each is armed with four Harpoon anti-ship missiles, one 76mm cannon; two twin 40mm automatic cannon, six torpedo tubes and twelve depth charges. The crew of 95 also operates radar and sonar. Top speed is 59 kilometers an hour. Two Po Hangs have been retired so far, and one was sunk by a North Korean torpedo last year.
The Philippines is an island nation, with 7,100 islands to defend. Long crippled by corruption and bad government, the Philippines have never had much money to spend on the military (or anything else.) Wealthier nations have found it good diplomacy to donate military equipment to the Philippines. The Filipinos appreciate it; because donated military gear is something the thieving politicians have a hard time stealing.