South Korea will give the Philippines an ageing Pohang-class anti-submarine warship this year in return for just $100, the defense chief announced on Thursday, boosting its capability to manned and supervise its vast maritime borders.
Aside from the United States, its former colonial master and long-time security ally, Seoul has been a huge source of Manila’s military hardware and supplies, ranging from fighters and patrol ships to armored vehicles and army trucks.
Rodrigo Duterte-led country received two FA-50 light fighters from Seoul on Wednesday and two more will be delivered next month to complete the 12 aircraft, 18 billion peso ($359 million) deal.
Meanwhile, the Philippines has expressed interest to acquire six more similar planes.
Philippine Defense Ministry spokesperson Arsenio Andolong hopes that the next delivery of aircraft will be within the year.
“We are hoping to receive the vessel within the year,” Andolong said of the warship.
“The transfer will be in the form of a donation. We will pay a token $100, but the corvette will still undergo refurbishment,” he added.
The official said when asked if how much the government would need to repair and restore the warship, “he has no idea.”
Andolong also added that the Philippines may acquire up to three such warships, which Seoul is replacing with newer and faster vessels.
“This may be an old ship but it will definitely enhance our capability to patrol our waters and perform counter-terrorism measures,” he added.
It can be remembered that South Korea has donated a lot of military hardware to the Philippines and has expressed gratitude for Manila’s role in the 1950-53 Korean War.