LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 26 — Ten regional and provincial officers of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and 30 resident inmates are now ready to make vinegar and nata de coco either for their families’ use or for business purposes.
They learned the process in a recent skills training jointly sponsored by the Bureau and the Department of Science and Technology regional office, here.
The newly acquired skills will pave the way to a lasting and harmonious relationship between officers and inmates, as envisioned by the program. They will have plenty of time exchanging notes on the effective and enhanced procedure of mass producing vinegar and nata de coco while in the confines of the jail.
Logistics and venue problems cropped upon returning to their posts and cell when the trainees attempted to start making the vinegar and nata. They realized the need to have a clean and temperature-controlled room, aside from plastic containers and other equipments to grow and propagate the mother liquor with an abundant supply of clean potable water.
One provincial jail cell here was cleared of current occupants and immediately was transformed into a production cell, complete with insulation on the floor, walls and ceiling. Extra lights were added with a thermometer to maintain constant room temperature conducive to the growth of nata and vinegar.
LC Supermarket donated a sack of sugar, few kilos of which will be mixed for the initial solution while another company who declined to be identified, donated a gallon of acetic acid.
Inmates and officers decided not to use water from the jail faucet coming from Legazpi City Water District operator supplier Philippine Hydro Inc. (PhilHydro), and opted to use the expensive gallons of H20 from the nearby refilling station.
This upon having quick recollection that Legazpi water was declared not potable by former Mayor Geraldine Rosal after the University of the Philippines Natural Sciences and Research Institute (UP-NSRI) study showed that it does not conform with the Philippine National Standard for drinking water because of high level of total dissolved solids (TDS), indicating not fit for drinking and that resulted in the revocation of the business permit of Phil-Hydro.
While waiting for the first production batch which should come about 15-21 days, the wives of participating inmates were made to gather bottles from their neighborhoods where nata will be preserved and vinegar will be kept.