Some 200 Chinese vessels were spotted across different maritime features in the West Philippine Sea from mid-May to June, data from US-based geospatial intelligence firm said.
Simularity, whose South China Sea Rapid Alert service is dedicated to monitoring "unusual activity" in the disputed region, said as of June 17, the number of Chinese vessels spotted within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone climbed to 238 from 129.
Some 236 ships of these were detected in the Union Banks or Pagkakaisa Banks and Reefs, a large, drowned atoll in the center of the Spratly group of islands that is "entirely within the Philippine EEZ", the company said.
Chinese ships near Tizard Bank's Gavin Reef, which is located three nautical miles away from the country’s EEZ, decreased to 71 from 234, it added.
In a May 29 protest, the Department of Foreign Affairs asked China to stop its "incessant" presence in the vicinity of Pag-asa Island, also known as Thitu, which is part of the Kalayaan municipality in the province of Palawan.
In the recent Simularity report, the presence of 11 Chinese ships in the area was noted.
Responding to the report, Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday called on the DFA to summon Beijing's ambassador to Manila over the fresh incursions.
"Instead of de-escalating the tensions in the disputed waters, they doubled down. This clearly shows that China is shamelessly hellbent on aggravating the situation," Hontiveros said.
"The Palace should look Beijing straight in the eye and tell [it] to remove [its] ships from our territories," she said.
In its own count as of May 9, National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) had said 287 Chinese militia ships were still "scattered" off various features of the Philippines' Kalayaan municipality in the Spratlys.
The current administration has refused to flaunt a 2016 ruling that invalidated Beijing's vast claims and instead pursued closer political and economic ties with China, at the expense of the Philippines' traditional ally, the U.S.