How many islands are there in the Philippines as of latest figures?
I remember that we were told in elementary that there are 7, 107 islands in the Philippines. Funnily enough, I would try counting the islands laid out on a map. But as we know it, most of the Philippines’ islands are so tiny that they can not be presented on a map.
I told myself one time that someday, I would visit all of these islands in my lifetime. But with the added number, I think that goal is no longer feasible. I just have to tell myself that at least, I can visit most of them.
So how many islands are there really? Based on the latest count of the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), there are over 7641 islands in all.
That figure could increase in the future. As experts continue to explore the Philippine archipelago and its adjacent ecosystems, more islands are sure to be discovered.
Could these be Newly-Formed Islands?
Not necessarily. In fact, some locals could have already been aware of their existence. They just did not bother to think about the numbers. Hello. They just want to continue with simple living in harmony with nature.
So what made the discovery or who?
It’s actually through the Philippine Islands Measurements Project. The project proponents made use of the Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR). It’s a form of mapping that makes use of a high-resolution.
To validate the project’s discovery, NAMRIA conducted an assessment of all the islands identified from Luzon to Mindanao. They employed various approaches such as documenting the seabed cradling the islands. They also held shallow digging and took from the islands’ sediments.
Without the new technology, the islands would not have been discovered according to Mr. Ramon Paje. He was the former Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). He also cited the constantly changing landforms as influential to the increase.
Implications of Philippines’ New Islands
The discovery of the new islands is beneficial for the country in a lot of ways.
Economically speaking, the government can tap the new islands’ resources to boost the country’s development. Scientists have shown that some of these contain huge deposits of oil and methane. I’m not really fond of fossil fuel. Hopefully, they will manage that sustainably.
The new territories can also improve the livelihood of local fishermen. They can now go out fishing to greater stretches of the sea.
Some of the new islands lie at Benham Rise. It is a premium marine haven, home to countless species.
Moreover, the government can promote these islands for ecotourism. With more and more people opting for off-beaten destinations, the market for these is endless.
What Should the Government Do?
The new islands in the Philippines are indeed priceless treasures. While the government can explore economic possibilities, they should also implement policies to sustainably manage these.
It’s we stop exploring new landscapes and turning these into wastelands.
Every island deserves proper nurture and respect.
Thankfully, the possibility of ecotourism is not that far. We just hope the government prioritizes the general welfare. Ecotourism is a key driver to that.
Now, let me ask you again, how many islands are there in the Philippines? If you’re not sure, back read my friend:)