Cebu News

Philippines has more than 7,107 islands: Publishers urged: Update textbooks

Kristine B. Quintas/RHM - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - After the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority revealed that he Philippines actually has around 400 islands more than the widely recognized 7,107, the Commission on Higher Education-7 urged authors and publishers to correct and update their textbooks.

CHED-7 Director Freddie Bernal said this new development and other discoveries must be immediately incorporated in textbooks to avoid confusion.

“If it is validated, confirmed by authorities, then our textbooks and references should be corrected correspondingly. Kasi yun ang tama, to correct the error,” Bernal told The FREEMAN.

He admitted reprinting of books entails a huge amount of money, but said “that’s part of the investment and business.”

He, however, said reprinting would not be a waste, at least for publishers and authors, since students and the academe would have to buy the expanded and updated versions of the books.

The Department of Education-7, on the other hand, will work on reprinting of books once they receive an official directive from central office.

“The decisions will solely be coming from the central office. If they will issue an order or memorandum on the reprinting then we will make appropriate actions. We are just following protocol here,” said DepEd-7 Public Relations Officer Amaryllis Rodriquez-Villarmia.

CHED-7 and DepEd-7 have yet to receive a copy of the recent survey, which indicated the discovery of over 400 islands in the country.

With NAMRIA’s latest discovery, the Philippines may now have 7,500 islands in total, since the official count of 7,107 islands was made in 1945 yet by the Gazetteer of the Philippine Islands. Only about 2,000 islands of the 7,107 islands are inhabited, while 5,000 islands still have no names.

NAMRIA discovered the additional islands in a 2013 survey made using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar Technology.

NAMRIA said most of the newly mapped islands are in Mindanao. Certain requirements need to be met to be considered an island, like landmass should be above sea level and high tide at any given time, and can support either plant or animal life or both.

The agency has completed ground validation in Luzon and is currently working in the Visayas. Ground validation in Visayas and Mindanao is set to be completed by the end of the year.

NAMRIA is the agency under the DENR responsible for providing map-making services to the public. It is the central mapping agency, depository, and distribution facility for natural resources data in the form of maps, charts, texts and statistics.   (FREEMAN)



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