June 23, 2024

With the high cost of electricity and skyrocketing prices of gasoline, turning to cheaper alternative sources of energy has never been as urgent. This was the driving force behind a solar-powered “gasifier” developed by a person deprived of liberty (PDL) at the Baguio City Jail.

An engineer by profession, 53-year-old “Rex” said he wanted to make his time behind bars more productive so he came up with the idea of a solar-powered gasifier and submitted a proposal to the jail management.

Unlike his device, conventional gasifiers are powered by charcoal, wood and wood waste, agricultural residues, organic wastes, industrial wastes, and municipal trashes.

Aside from powering light bulbs, Rex’s energy converter can also be used to power appliances, mobile phones, and smokeless stoves.

When used on a stove, the gasifier produces a blue flame that prevents soot from accumulating on a pot’s bottom and eliminates the heavy smoke emission that harms the environment.

He said similar devices have been created in the past but his “La Jailmania” is the first to have an ash chamber and a flame regulator.

With the help of the jail management, Rex came up with a feasibility study on the possible mass production of his gasifier and submitted it to the Department of Science and Technology-Cordillera.

Rex is among the beneficiaries of the jail management’s efforts to provide livelihood skills and projects to people like him, in partnership with non-government organizations and other government agencies.

“BJMPs goal is a humane safekeeping of the PDLs. We have to come up with activities that will not only make them busy but will prepare them for reintegration in case they are allowed to go back to the community,” Jail Supt. Mary Ann Ollaging-Tresmanio, warden of the male dormitory, said.

One of the skills being promoted among the inmates is restaurant services, which started being offered with the help of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to about 30 PDLs at the male dorm in May, according to Vilma Tolarba, information officer at the Baguio City School of Arts and Trades (BCSAT).

BCSAT Administrator Arlene Cadalig, during the PDLs’ graduation day, said: “I hope that you have learned something from the training that you can use for the betterment of your lives.” – PNA