The National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (Namria) has discovered 400 to 500 new islands in the Philippine archipelago, GMA News TV's State of the Nation reported on Friday.
Using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IFSAR) technology that Namria obtained in 2013, the government agency found land features that may be considered islands.
Within three to five months of using IFSAR, topographic maps and other data sources, Namria found that the original count of 7,107 islands was no longer accurate.
It took Namria more than two years to validate, because some land features may just be rocks, islets, reefs, magroves, or sandbars.
Namria administrator Peter Tiangco said that the agency was exercising caution due to the implications of the new discovery.
The number of islands in the archipelago of the Philippines has been pegged at 7,107 since 1945, based on the report of Gazetteer of the Philippine Islands. —NB, GMA News