So vice president-elect Leni Robredo just said that she is not comfortable staying at the Coconut Palace, the official residence of the Vice President, because she finds the P500,000 monthly rent too expensive. That got us into thinking: How far can half a million actually take you? Not in the designer-bag-shopping-travel-and-see-the-world-sense, but in terms of making a difference on the lives of others. We've done the math for you:
1. 10 Laptops for a start-up company to use. The average price of a high performance laptop is around P50,000. This laptop type already has specs that are more than enough to run presentations, large spreadsheets, and even do photo and video editing. With half a million pesos, ten employees and upper management personnel get to have their own efficient laptops.
2. 2,500 meals from leading fast food chains. A fairly-sized meal from leading fast food chains (consisting of a drink, a cup of rice, viand, and dessert) would cost P100 on average, so P500,000 gives 2,500 individuals the chance to have two full meals for the day.
3. Roughly 33 months of rent for a studio-sized condo unit. The average rent of a typical studio unit is pegged at around P15,000 a month, which means the rent at Coconut Palace is enough to keep you secured in your own condo unit for almost 3 years.
4. 100 pairs of performance rubber shoes for our student athletes. With the average price of a good pair of performance shoes at P5,000, your half a million can support 8 to 10 of our national teams (given that each team consists of at least 10 players).
5. Socialized housing for a family of five. According to HLURB, the price of socialized housing is pegged at P450,000 and below. That said, half a million is enough to provide decent housing for a family of five in the province.
6. Roughly 31,250 bottles of clean water. A 500ml bottle of water would cost you around P16, hence half a million pesos would translate to helping around 6,200 families to have access to clean and drinkable water.
7. Four years’ worth of college education for two students. Let’s say that one belongs to the A tuition bracket in UP Diliman, and they need to complete 18 units per semester; a month’s rent at Coconut Palace is enough to support two students taking a four-year course in UP!
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Banner illustration by Jana Jimenez