MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Filipinos learn in school that their country is composed of 7,101 islands (at low tide). Now, geography books may have to be revised.
The Philippines’ population is fast increasing, reaching over 100 Million as of the latest population census. But not to worry, its land mass is also increasing!
The National Mapping and Resource Information Authority discovered 400 more islets in a series of mapping research.
Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje made this remark in his speech at the ongoing Philippine Environment Summit at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Wednesday. Paje told summit participants the country is now officially composed of 7,500 islands as he reported on the state of the Philippine environment.
The National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (Namria) confirmed that using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IfSAR), the agency was able to “discover” more than 400 previously “unknown” islands in various parts of the country.
An attached agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Namria is mandated to provide the public with mapmaking services, and to act as the central mapping agency, depository and distribution facility for natural resources data in the form of maps, charts, texts and statistics.
Now if only Filipinos stop congregating in overcrowded Metro Manila and other urban centers, and move to one of these oftentimes uninhabited islands, it would solve many of the country’s social and economic problems.
And they need to do it quickly before the big corporations start developing these islands into expensive resorts for tourists.
So while China illegally ‘creates’ artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea territories, the Philippines just does it very casually with the help of Mother Nature. And mapping services.