As we all know, our country is an archipelago comprising of 7,107 Philippine islands. But with the current geographical studies and discoveries, the knowledge that we all know about our country housing 7,107 islands is now out-of-date.

We never really counted the islands ourselves, right? We have experts to do that for us. However, methods are not always perfect and results can always change through time.

Discovery

Image: ga.gov.au

The discovery involved the use of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR), a new high-resolution mapping system.

Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) conducted a special project called Philippine Islands Measurement Projects, which used IFSAR and stated that our country has an official count of 7,641 Philippine Islands. Why are we just discovering this now?

The reasons behind why the new islands were not discovered before could be unsure but it could most likely be the following:

  • Old technology, which was unable to detect the land masses
  • Changing landforms, which made the new islands appear “hidden”
  • Improved detection of Philippine islands through the use of high-resolution data

What does this mean for the country?

With the new discoveries, it means additional land area which will provide more space and opportunities for agricultural and scientific exploration, and increased coastal economic zone which means more locations of the fishing industry and ocean exploration.

Benham Rise is one such addition to the Philippine coastal economic zone. The 13m million undersea sections located on the coasts of Isabela and Aurora has dramatically boosted the country’s territory from 30 million hectares to 42 million. It is also abundant in natural gas and solid methane, which are both significantly favourable to the country.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below!