THE Philippines has reiterated its call to China to stop its reclamation activities in contested waters of the West Philippine Sea.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said Thursday that China's statement that it had stopped such activity is "not factual."

"I think the construction continues. They said they have stopped their reclamation but at some point in time, we knew that statement is not factual so we continue to take the position that they should stop doing what they are doing," del Rosario said at the sidelines of the Senate hearing on the proposed P20.637-million budget of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for 2016.

"That is in violation of international law and that we should halt and await the conclusion of arbitration," del Rosario added.

China's reclamation activities along a string of artificial islands in the disputed sea have grown dramatically in the recent months, according to the Pentagon report released in August this year.

The report said that as of June, China had reclaimed 2,900 acres of landmass across a string of islands in the disputed West Philippine Sea, up nearly 50 percent from May.

Del Rosario said they are just waiting for the decision of the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal on the jurisdiction case over the disputed West Philippine Sea to proceed with another hearing.

He said another hearing on the merits of the case might take place in November if the decision would favor the Philippines.

The ruling on the Philippine's complaint against China's massive claim in the disputed South China Sea may take until May 2016.

"We are waiting the results of the hearings on jurisdiction and if that goes well, we expect to have another hearing on the merits of the case. I think the expectation is that would come sometime in November, in which case, the estimate is that we could have a possible final award by May of 2016," he said. (Sunnex)