Tuesday, 12 October 2021 05:49
On Wednesday 6th October the Australian Unions hosted by UnionsWA International Committee/SIGTUR held an open meeting inviting supporters to attend via Zoom to hear a report on the repression of unions in the Philippines. Elmer Labog, Chairperson of KMU, a Philippines union federation of over 115,000 members spoke and responded to questions.
Elmer talked about the Duterte Government's use of unlawful violence and killings in its war on drugs that has also targeted unionists and other civil society leaders as a way of silencing dissent. Elmer has recently been identified and "red tagged" a process of victimisation and targeting by the PNP and military.
A broad-based coalition including the KMU and other unions as well as civil society organisations has been formed to counter these measures and raise awareness. As the Philippines is now heading towards a national election, and Duterte himself cannot be a Presidential candidate for election, the KMU and others are working on industrial as well as electoral strategies to counter these repressive measures.
Below is a short video interview that Elmer gave on his 2020 visit to Perth, covering some of these issues.
Monday, 13 September 2021 04:48
This being the sixth month of the Bloody Sunday massacre in Southern Tagalog on 2021 September 7, Kilusang Mayo Uno filed a complaint before the International Labor Organization (ILO) regarding the trade union and human rights violations of the Duterte regime, particularly the killing of workers.
The complaint detailed the various cases of attacks on workers since Duterte came to power. To this day, 56 workers had been killed and hundreds had been arrested on trumped-up charges. (A copy of the complaint is attached below.)
The Bloody Sunday brutal attacks on activists in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Rizal. In separate but synchronized police and military operations, trade union organizer Manny Asuncion was killed while unionists Steve Mendoza and Mags Camoral were arrested. Less than two weeks later, union leader Dandy Miguel was gunned down on his way home from work.
Red-tagging, harassment, and intimidation of workers and unionists, primarily carried out by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), had since persisted. Two unions based in Laguna reported repeated threats, harassment, and intimidation from NTF-ELCAC agents frequenting unionists’ homes.
Union members were urged to disaffiliate their unions from the progressive federations and cut ties with KMU. Attached herewith is the timeline of attacks and details regarding the situation of the Wyeth Philippines Progressive Workers Union- DFA-KMU.
In line with our #DefendOurUnions campaign, we will be launching particular actions for #StandWithWyethWorkers. We are requesting urgent support.
What you can do:
1. Post statements and messages of support for the campaign on your social media pages or website. We request you to send a copy of your postings to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Host online discussions or post infographics/ explainers to help with information dissemination to amplify the campaign. Please share the campaign with your network of labor advocates and rights organizations.
3. Send a letter to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Philippines requesting immediate action on the violation of the freedom of association.
4. Send material or financial support to the campaign. This may be sent through the KMU bank account, Paypal, or other arrangements. For further information, you may contact email@example.com or through our Viber or WhatsApp account at 0961 769 6822.
Stop the attacks on workers! No to union infiltration!
NTF-ELCAC, out of our communities and workplaces!
Uphold freedom of association! No to forced disaffiliation!
Thursday, 02 September 2021 01:30
There's a crisis on the doorstep of Australia. The International Committee of UnionsWA, The Southern Initiative for Global Trade Union Rights (SIGTUR), and Union Aid Abroad APHEDA convened a webinar to show solidarity and support with the working people of Indonesia, the webinar heard about the struggle and how workers are surviving the pandemic today and working to prevent the pandemic of asbestos in the future.
On Tuesday 31st August participants from around the world heard from Dr. Anna Suraya, Darisman, Chair of Local Initiative for OSH Network (LION), Indonesia, and Phillip Hazelton from Union Aid Abroad APHEDA.
Dr Anna Surya is a medical doctor also studying for her PhD and director of the Fit2Work Occupational Medicine and Environmental Study Centre where she focuses on developing health surveillance of Indonesian workers for supporting industries and government to establish occupational health program and a lecturer at Binawan University, Jakarta.
Darisman is one of the founders of the Local Initiative for OSH Network (LION Indonesia), a civil society organization focused on strengthening grassroots movements to protect workers' rights. In 2010, together with labor, environmental, and health activists established INA-Ban, an asbestos ban network organization in Indonesia. The initiative to establish the LION-Indonesia and INA-BAN organizations based on his experience in organizing victims of occupational accidents and illnesses who together must speak up and become front liners in improving working conditions and the environment. Currently, Darisman is active in capacity building and campaigns to protect workers' rights in Indonesia.
Phillip Hazelton is currently Coordinator Eliminating Asbestos Related Diseases Campaign for Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA across SE Asia and is currently based in Cambodia. Phillip was Executive Officer of APHEDA 1990-2001 and has since worked as National OSH Coordinator AMWU 2006-2009 and spent 15 years living in Asia (Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia) working for both the ILO (Chief Technical Officer Industrial Relations Project 2014-2016 Vietnam) and APHEDA in various roles.
Wednesday, 01 September 2021 23:15
On July 3, around 8,000 members of the KCTU marched through downtown Seoul to demand to protect the lives and save the jobs and employment. The rally was originally planned to be held in Yeouido but the participants gathered at Jongro-3ga after the police blocked the gathering by erecting barriers.
The police announced that it will consider applying the Act on Demonstration and Assembly, Infectious Disease Control Act, and Criminal Law provision on obstruction of the general traffic.
KCTU president YANG, Kyeung-soo was arrested today for organizing an unauthorized rally. The police raided the KCTU office where Yang was staying as early as 5:28 am this morning.
The SIGTUR network stands in solidarity with the KCTU and its members. We are calling on the Government of South Korea to respect the rights of workers to protest and demand the immediate release of president YANG, Kyeung-soo.
Saturday, 24 July 2021 00:12
On the 26th of July, President Duterte will be delivering his last State of the Nation Address, which we expect to be charged with lies of change and progress as he has done in his past addresses. On the same day, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) together with other democratic groups will be calling for a Global Day of Action to hold Duterte accountable for his crimes against the Filipino workers and people.
Failed pandemic response
More than a year into the world’s longest lockdown, Covid-19 cases continue to rise and have already surpassed the 1.5 million mark in the Philippines. Hospitals are overwhelmed and overrun due to a lack of facilities, equipment, and staff. The positivity rate in the country is still at 10.7%, but the government’s capacity for testing reaches only 50,000 tests per day compared to its target of 101,000 tests per day in order to lower the positivity rate to 5%.
Despite these, no comprehensive and pro-people stimulus package was extended by the government to give support to workers and people. No immediate, sufficient and sustained cash relief program was implemented to support displaced workers. Less than one million workers received Php 1000 cash relief.
Unprecedented economic crisis
The pandemic revealed and worsened the already plummeting economy. In the year 2020, the Philippine economy dropped to -9.5%, marked by job losses and meager wages.
As prices continue to rise due to the inflation rate reaching 4.7% by the end of February 2021, meager wages can barely suffice for basic needs. In his 5 years of presidency Duterte only ordered for a wage increase twice in the National Capital Region, equivalent to only Php56 (1.12 USD). Currently, the minimum wage in NCR is Php 537 (10.69 USD) per day, and lower in provinces due to wage regionalization. This is far off from the estimated family living wage of Php 1,022 per day. This has been worsened by the increasing inflation rate which eroded the real value of wages by Php 100.
This is coupled with a jobs crisis in the country. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, more than 3.7 million workers were unemployed in May 2021. More than 500,000 overseas Filipino workers affected by the pandemic were repatriated. Up to 16.7 million are working part-time and in need of additional jobs, while 1.3 million full-time work was lost.
In addition to this, Duterte’s campaign promise to end the short-term contractual scheme (contractualization) has not been realized. According to the independent think tank IBON Foundation, around 9 million workers (33%) in the private sector are contractual. Contractual workers are the most vulnerable due to lack of job security and access to benefits and rights enjoyed by regular workers, such as the right to unionize.
Attacks on the worker's movement
Amid this crisis, Duterte has led a national campaign against the rights of the people. During the pandemic, the government fast-tracked the passing of the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020.
56 workers were killed under the Duterte regime, including union leaders Dandy Miguel, Manny Asuncion, and Carlito Badion. Meanwhile, 30 labor leaders and unionists remain in jail because of false charges. Forms of harassment, intimidation, red-tagging are being utilized against union members and organizers.
The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) has launched a systematic campaign to force unions to disaffiliate from KMU by visiting union leaders in their homes and workplaces.
Yet Duterte has continuously declined investigations from international bodies regarding violations of human rights, including his “war on drugs” campaign that has led to the death of more than 30,000 innocent lives.
No to term extension
With all his crimes on hand, Duterte has recently declared his intention to run for the vice presidency in the upcoming national elections, admitting that the reason behind this is to avoid any forms of accountability for his crimes.
Call to Action
It is of this backdrop that we enjoin you to the Global Day of Solidarity with the Filipino Workers on July 26. Below are some of the actions you may do to support the call for decent wages, secure jobs, and trade union and human rights:
1. Hold a physical protest action in your country and post documentation on your social media pages. We are also requesting that you send photos of your protests to this email.
2. For online activities, you may post solidarity statements, photos with calls, and other related materials and send them to this email as well.
3. Letters and messages of solidarity to the PH workers will be very much appreciated.
4. Donate to the legal and campaign funds for wages, job security, and trade union rights.
The following calls may be used for solidarity materials and protest actions:
End contractualization in the Philippines!
Defend trade unions in the Philippines!
Stop the attacks!
Stop killing workers!
Stand with Filipino workers!
Monday, 29 March 2021 07:08
Labor leader Dandy Miguel was shot dead in Laguna province last Sunday night 28 March. According to initial reports, he was shot eight times while on his way home from work. Miguel’s killing came three weeks after nine activists were killed in simultaneous dawn operations called Bloody Sunday in the Southern Tagalog region south of Manila, where Laguna is located.
Miguel is a member of the KMU National Council, Vice Chairperson of regional chapter PAMANTIK-KMU and President of local union Lakas ng Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Fuji Electric – OLALIA- KMU.
Along with other union leaders and families of the Bloody Sunday victims, Miguel filed a case at the Commission on Human Rights last March 15. Despite threats to his life and security, Miguel was at the forefront of the struggle to defend the rights and welfare of the people.
Kilusang Mayo Uno condemns the brutal killing of Dandy Miguel. We call for justice for all victims of political killings! We call to stop all forms of human rights violations in the Philippines!
What you can do:
1. On March 29 at 5 PM Philippine standard time (UTC+08:00), Philippine organizations will be holding a nationally coordinated candle-lighting and indignation protest. We encourage the global community to join this action. Post pictures and statements on your individual and organizational social media pages with the hashtags #JusticeForDandyMiguel, #StopTheAttacks, and #HandsOffTradeUnionsPH, and tag our Facebook page (1. facebook.com/KMUinternational) and Twitter account (@kilusangmayouno). Actions may also be held from March 29-31, 2021.
2. Issue statements of condemnation on the killing of Dandy Miguel, and the continuing attacks on trade unions and human rights in the Philippines.
3. Write to the Philippines’ Supreme Court and Department of Justice to investigate the continuing trade union and human rights violations, including the recent killing of Dandy Miguel.
4. Petition the Philippine government to accept the International Labor Organization High-Level Tripartite Mission that could investigate the cases of trade union and human rights violations in the Philippines.
5. Lobby your respective governments to take action to urge the Duterte administration to respect human rights in the Philippines, and withdraw support and funding for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
6. Contribute to the legal and campaign funds of the Defend Our Unions Campaign.
Account Name: Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU)
*Without the (KMU), the transaction will be invalid.
Type of Account: BDO Peso Account
Bank: Banco de Oro (BDO)
Bank branch: BDO Aurora Blvd.- Anonas
Account Number: 001490187039
Swift Code: BNORPHMM
Address: 63 Narra Street, Barangay Claro, Project 3, Quezon City
Wednesday, 10 March 2021 00:42
Story courtesy: ITUC
A Supreme Court judge annulled the convictions on 8 March.
Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: “The judicial persecution of Lula, led by discredited judge Sergio Moro, has come to an end. Lula’s only ‘crime’ was to stand up for the marginalised and the oppressed – something that the conservative forces who wield so much power in Brazil could not accept.
“This decision is a boost for democracy in Brazil, in the region and the world. It removes a heavy stain on politics and the judiciary in Brazil and will give impetus to the quest to turn the corner from the truly corrupt government of current President Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro’s contempt for the people of the country has undone so many of the achievements of the Lula and Dilma governments, and his COVID-19 denialism has cost many thousands of lives.”
Sunday, 07 March 2021 08:18
After Duterte pronounced in a gathering his desire to kill all communists, state forces launched coordinated attacks against unionists and activists in Southern Tagalog. In separate operations in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Rizal. Eight were arrested and five were killed on March 7, Sunday.
In a raid in the office of labor institution Workers' Assistance Center, police shot dead Manny Asuncion, Cavite provincial coordinator of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Cavite.
In Laguna, two unionists and a human rights worker were arrested.
Steve Mendoza, executive vice president of the Organized Labor Association in Line Industries and Agriculture (OLALIA KMU) was arrested in a dawn raid of his home in Cabuyao. Police forcibly entered by destroying the gate of the house.
Elizabeth "Mags" Camoral of BAYAN Laguna, and former union president of F-Tech was also arrested in the Defend Yulo Farmers headquarters in Cabuyao.
Nimfa Lanzanas of human rights group Kapatid-Timog Katagalugan, and a paralegal aide of political prisoners was arrested while she was with her grandchild.
Killed in Rizal were Michael Dasigao and Makmak of Sikkad Montalban. Two peasant leaders in Montalban, Rizal were also arrested today.
The whole family of fisherfolk leaders Chai Lemita-Evangelista, Ariel Evangelista, and 10-year old son Raymart Evangelista were arrested in their home in Nasugbu, Batangas. Later today, the bodies of Chai and Ariel were found dead, while their son was able to escape.
The spate of killings, arrests and other attacks presents a human rights emergency that merits the attention of the entire Filipino people and the international community. We call for support for the victims of the attacks on trade union and human rights.
Friday, 05 March 2021 00:56
Two Filipino union leaders were arrested this morning, March 4, 2021 by elements of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) by virtue of search warrants issued by a Laguna Executive Judge.
The police raided the residence of Ramir Edriga Corcolon and abducted him thereafter at around 4:30 am today, March 4, 2021 in San Pablo City, Laguna Province. Corcolon is the President of the San Pablo City Water District Employees Association (SPCWDEA) and the Water System Employees Response (WATER) Secretary General.
According to witnesses, Corcolon’s home was forcibly entered early this morning by elements who identified themselves to be from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP). He is brought to Camp Vicente Lim in Laguna.
The residence of Arnedo Sanggalang Lagunias was also raided today, March 4 around 6:00 am. He was forcibly being taken to Camp Vicente Lim. The police alleged to have found a 45-cal handgun and explosives during the ‘search.’
Lagunias was Secretary of the Honda Workers Union (Lakas Manggagawang Nagkakaisa sa Honda-OLALIA-KMU). He was instrumental in launching the workers’ protest in 2019 when Honda Philippines suddenly announced the closure of its main plant in Laguna. Hundreds of Honda workers were dismissed by the company. Lagunias earlier reported that he is being threatened and harassed by elements of the Regional Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) particularly by Sgt. Romy Aragon last year, and he filed his complaint among other union officers at the Commission on Human Rights in November 2020.
Corcolon and Lagunias are union leaders who consistently stood and fought for Filipino workers’ rights. The search warrants used against them are almost identical and were issued by the same Laguna Executive Judge Divinagracia Bustos-Ongkeko, supposedly to search for rifle grenades, obviously to be used in a raid to plant fake evidence against them.
Search warrants were also used in the Bacolod Raids leading to the arrest of Ceres Bus workers and KMU Regional Secretary General Noli Rosales in November 2019; and in the Metro Manila raids in December 2020 which led to the arrest of the HRDay7. The search warrants used in Bacolod City, Quezon City, Mandaluyong City and Manila City in these said incidents were all issued by Quezon City Executive Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert. Rosales and the HRDay 7 all now face trumped up charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives, and are unjustly detained.
We call on our colleagues in the various trade unions, rights defenders and freedom-loving people in the Philippines and worldwide to call for the release of Filipino unionists Ramir Corcolon and Arnedo Lagunias, and condemn these latest attacks on Philippine trade unions.
Release Ramir Corcolon and Arnedo Lagunias!
Free Our Unionists!
Defend our Unions!
Stop the Attacks!
Tuesday, 13 October 2020 20:59
Story by: Central Unitaria de Trabajadores Auténtica
Paraguayan society is going through a difficult context that places the workers before one of the worst economic, political and social crises that our people have suffered. This situation is due to the deep world crisis of the capitalist system, which was aggravated by the appearance on the world health scene of the Coronavirus as a serious threat to the health of the peoples, which aggravated the crisis of the neo-liberal model, presenting a dark scene for all the humanity.
The government of Mario Abdo Benítez, faithfully fulfilling the mandates of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which dictate the economic recipes to backward countries like ours, is promoting and deepening the economic model, whose consequences are the worsening of poverty, extreme poverty, unemployment, salary cuts, massive layoffs of workers, plus the gross violation of the labor rights achieved in the National Laws and the Conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO).
This government does not respond with social-economic policies in the face of the pandemic, it has burdened the entire cost of the crisis on the workers of the countryside and in the city. Meanwhile, it increases foreign debt which, in the end, workers will pay.
The most outrageous are the scandalous acts of corruption perpetrated by high representatives of the government, which have exposed the well-known modus operandi of this gang of criminals and thieves who govern and plunder the Paraguayan State with impunity.
In this state of things, the disease arrived and demonstrated that our economic model is already obsolete and needs urgent changes to build a New Social Order. The government of Mario Abdo Benítez, with his policy of neglect and disinterest to guarantee sanitary conditions, continues in terrible conditions, without equipment of the intensive care rooms in the hospitals, not complying with the minimum conditions of biosecurity for the health workers. The government of Mario Abdo Benítez, doesn’t offer any alternative economic plan to reactivate the economy, with labor measures to ensure the maintenance of employment and generate Decent Work, as well as a wage policy that sustains the purchasing power of the workers.
The government demands strict compliance with the quarantine, but it does not guarantee the people an efficient policy for surviving with dignity; the miserable "social aid" programs are absolutely insufficient; it only reaches a small sector of those affected and those who access, receive a misery. What family can survive on G. 500,000 (around 75 us dollars)
Given the serious crisis that the country is experiencing, we consider it necessary to urgently increase aid and subsidies for workers and sectors in need to ensure a decent livelihood in the face of the quarantine extension. In addition, the urgent implementation of a National Emergency Plan.
We reject the fact that the government is unloading the entire cost of the crisis onto the backs of the workers and sectors of the middle class, and is systematically refusing to tax the usual privileged people, the soy growers, the cattle ranchers, the bankers and the big financial corporations, in addition to taxing the large estates and the big fortunes.
We express our total disagreement with the opportunistic attitude of the government, which in this stage of the pandemic crisis is promoting a harmful project of State Reform without our participation; we reject this reform because it aims to reduce the role of the State in health, education, social security and other social areas, it does not include tax reform which proposes changing the character of our tax policy so that those who earn most are those who pay the most taxes.
As for the project to create the Civil Service Law; we reject it because it was not discussed with the workers of the state, it does not improve the working conditions of the workers, it promotes labor precarization, it violates the acquired right of labor stability, violates the legal spirit of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and especially because it maintains the coercive policy of the Right to Strike.
Faced with these problems, the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores Auténtica proposes to the government a National Emergency Plan consisting of:
1. Apply a decisive social change
The serious crisis leaves in evidence and aggravates, the great pre-existing problems of the national economy and that government tend to naturalize, assuming that great social injustice "as normal". The representatives of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare have already exposed that what is generically called "returning to normal" is a return to the state of the precariousness of public health in Paraguay.
Re-directing the so-called capital investments to Social Investments, changing that matrix. Let's end with misleading speeches that, when we talk about big construction companies are essential investments but when we talk about the invisibility of people in need is transformed into non-viable expenditures. These Social Proposals are essential, since we have the need and obligation to ensure the RIGHT to a Minimum Vital Income, which certifies the daily and sustained consumption of families, not only of food but also family needs (health, transportation, housing, clothing, education, recreation, etc.). Measures that guarantee the dynamization of the local, popular, and national economy. It is urgent that these sectors can count on the necessary capital in order to cushion the effects of the lack of income. The United Nations' agency, FAO, in its latest reports places Paraguay among the last countries with social measures to alleviate the crisis.
We require measures to guarantee consumption that will consequently and sustainably boost domestic demand, generating the desired and also the so resented monetary circulation, which accompanied by real measures of food production with Family Farming, would provide economic means and the security of having resources in the next 6 (six) months, prioritizing the groups that face greater affectation and vulnerability. These groups are mainly women, workers in the formal sector and in the informal economy, the unemployed, micro and small enterprises, day laborers, both urban and rural.
2. Loan Plan
It is urgent to implement an agile plan of monetary loans to at least 1,000,000 heads of family, equivalent to 150 US dollars per month for the next 6 (six) months, to be paid back in 10 years, with interests equivalent to the annual inflation rate, as requested by the workers of land and farm when they presented their proposals for reactivation. Let us remember that the most developed countries are planning to pay these debts over a period of almost 40 years, which many countries in the region are already implementing as an emergency measure.
3. Combating Outsourcing
Implement a determined fight against outsourcing which, by means of treacherous mechanisms of sub-contracting, destroys decent employment, with practices that evade labor, tax and social security rights, and deepen inequality. To end with the justification of the massive outsourcing that, in reality, sustains a fraud. And also end the elusion of the norm that each permanent job has a full employment contract. This measure is only possible if there is political will.
4. Housing Construction
Carrying out an innovative and intense Housing Construction Plan, which would generate genuine new direct and indirect jobs in the neediest sectors, combat the denigrating and immoral speculation of rents, mitigate the pressing problem of the lack of popular housing.
5. Expand and Strengthen Priority Measures
It is necessary to expand and strengthen the priority measures, improving the operational capacity of the executing entities, ensuring adequate focus and effectiveness, with organic accompaniment of those affected.
6. Strengthening Rural Economic Resources
Rural economic resources must be strengthened since they are not detached from the crisis in the cities. The economy of the rural families generates genuine productive jobs, they speed up the best distribution of the national income. We also note that a large number of urban workers come from the countryside and are the first to lose their jobs, in domestic work, construction, tourism, trade, and especially in the space of the informal economy. We must understand that the cities are the major consumers of all agricultural products, that when entering the crisis, the most vulnerable sectors are being more affected, because of the loss of urban jobs, essentially the capacity to consume, so we must also focus attention on the peasant economy, which provides this consumption.
7. We reaffirm
The business proposals of "productive measures to sustain production, generating the conditions for the subsequent reactivation and initiation of a growth process", as they proclaim in their press releases, are not enough.
In the face of this unprecedented crisis, we must end with speeches aimed at making up for the inaction of an important sector of our economy, more attached to financial speculation than the generation of Decent Work.
8. The Sources of Resources
The funds to guarantee these actions are available, if the Executive undertakes a decisive Political Action, with parliamentary agreements, proposals for modification of Laws and Regulations:
- Use of the reserves of the Central Bank of Paraguay (BCP) and the international reserves.
- Adjustment of the Legal Framework to redirect the funds foreseen in works such as the duplication of the Tras-Chaco route, construction of the new bridge to Chaco-i.
- Suspend all works that are not essential in these moments of crisis (Example: Remodeling the Government Palace).
- Apply a Special Tax, because of the Covid19, to the great national fortunes.
- Adjust the taxes on financial profit, sugared drinks, alcohol, tobacco, soy, livestock, and financial chains.
- Redirect the Social Expenses of the BinationalsITAIPU and YASYRETÁ
- Minimize tax exemptions, which are equivalent to more than USD. 500,000,000 (five hundred million dollars) per year.