FORMER Bacolod City Councilor Sonya Verdeflor has completed her 12 years as member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod with flying colors as she succeeded in maintaining her integrity in public service despite the challenges and intricacies of politics.
She expressed her sincerest gratitude to Bacolodnons for their trust and confidence given to her to serve them with all her heart.
She was first elected as Councilor of Bacolod in 2001-2004 under the administration of former Bacolod City Mayor Luzviminda Valdez and held several chairmanships namely the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committees on Trade, Commerce and Industry; SP Committee on Tourism and SP Committee on Municipal & International Cooperation.
Verdeflor served as the author of the Bacolod Investment Code and the Bacolod City Tourism Code.
She co-authored the Ordinance Creating the Gender and Devt. (GAD) Council and Ordinance Creating the Labor-Management Council.
She served as a member of the Bacolod City Local Investment Board and
Chairman of the Search for MassKara Queen in 2001.
From 2004 to 2010, she gave her full time to law practice but still served the people in her private capacity.
In 2010 to 2013, she went back to public service and was elected Councilor of Bacolod under the administration of Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
That time, she served as Chairman of the SP Committee on Labor Management Relations & Overseas Workers and SP Committee on Family & Child Care and Development.
She served as the author of the Ordinance Amending the Bacolod Investment Code (Adding preferred investments to enjoy tax incentives such as: Hospitals, BPO Firms; Technology Business Incubators; Fabrication of Machines Used in Manufacturing products derived from plastic wastes; Greenhouses; Manufacture of plant oil; Installation of extraction facilities & for power generation using biomass products; education related entities such as Tech/Voc Schools; ALS Training Centers, Schools for Agriculture; Filipino-owned Language Schools; Bookstores and granting tax credits for persons donating property to the City based on 10% of the Zonal Value of the Real Property as determined by the B.I.R. for the city’s priority projects: The Bacolod City Trade and Cultural Center Ordinance and Ordinance Creating the Bacolod OFW Coordinating Council.
She co-authored the Anti-Truancy Ordinance for Elementary and High School Students of the City of Bacolod such as City Ordinance Amending C.O. 623 S.of 2012 or An Ordinance Increasing the Allowance of BHWs in Bacolod City; Ordinance Creating the Policies & Guidelines in the Establishment and Regulation of the Night Market in the City of Bacolod.
She also served as Chairman of the Local Council for the Filipino Family; and. Local Council for the Protection of Children.
In 2013 to 2016, she again sought her re-election and won under the administration of former Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella.
She then served as Chairman of the SP Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries; SP Committee on Markets and Slaughterhouse and SP Committee on Women and Gender.
She was the author of the MassKara City Ordinance; Autism Awareness and Support Advocacy Program for Children with Autism and Special Needs Ordinance; Smile Summer Festival Ordinance; Ordinance Granting Relief of Rental Obligations and all Charges to Affected Market Vendors-Awardees of the Burgos Market; The DIWALI Festival Ordinance of Bacolod City; Ordinance on the use of Bacolod City’s Vacant and Idle Lands for the City’s Organic Farming; Required Armchairs for Left-Handed Pupils and Students Ordinance; Ordinance Providing for Vision-Screening in Infants and Children in the City of Bacolod; Ordinance Amending C.O. 581 S. of 2012 or The Highly Urbanized City; Agriculture and Fishery Council (HUCAFC) Ordinance (Increasing its annual fund to P2M).
She served as a member of the Bacolod City Gender and Development (GAD) Council City Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking and VAWC.
She was the Executive Director of the Bacolod City’s 76th Charter Anniversary Celebration; Executive Chairperson, Organizing Committee of the Bacolod City’s 77th Charter Anniversary Celebration; Chairman of the 118th Independence Day Celebration in Bacolod City; Delegate to the 2013 Andong Mask Dance Festival and 2013 ASEAN Culture and Tourism Fair in South Korea, together with the Bacolod City MassKara Festival Dancers and the Department of Tourism.
Verdeflor was re-elected as Councilor of Bacolod in her third and final term in 2016 to 2019 under again the Leonardia administration.
She served as Chairman of the SP Committee on Trade, Commerce & Industry SP Committee on Agriculture & Agrarian Concerns.
She was the author of the Ordinance Establishing Legal Help Desk in Every Barangay of Bacolod City; THANKSGIVING DAY Ordinance in Bacolod City; Ordinance Amending Sec. 4 Sub. Par. (4.8) and (4.9) of C.O. No. 336, S. of 2003 known as An Ordinance Regulating The Numbering of Residential, Commercial and other Buildings in the City of Bacolod; Ordinance Regulating the Catching, Selling or Buying of Berried Blue Crabs and Crablets in the City of Bacolod and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof; Ordinance Amending Sec. 3 of C.O. No. 08-14-694 S.of 2014 known as Diwali Festival Ordinance of Bacolod City (fixing the date of celebration to second weekend of November).
Furthermore, Verdeflor also authored Ordinance Prohibiting the Retail of Liquid Fuels in Bottles (‘Bote-Bote’) or Such Other Similar Containers and Providing Penalties for Violation Thereof; Ordinance Prohibiting the Refilling, Distribution and Retailing of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) in Canisters within the Territorial Jurisdiction of the City of Bacolod; Ordinance Amending Sections 5 and 39 of C.O. 370 S.of 2004 known as Bacolod City Tourism Code (requiring accreditation of primary tourism enterprises with the Department of Tourism); Ordinance Laying Down the System for the Equipping of Bacolod City Ahtletes and Artist-Performers Representing the Philippines in International Sports Competition, Cultural Events and Performing Arts; Ordinance Amending further the Bacolod Investment Code (to include the following preferred investments to enjoy tax credit: Digital Media Arts/Creative I.T. Industries; Environment-Friendly Solid Waste Recycling Plant; Waste Segregation Facility; Free-range Chicken Breeding; Organic Chicken & Organic Eggs Production; High Value Organic Crops.
Verdeflor was co-author of Ordinance for the Protection and Preservation of Memorials with Historical or Cultural Significance & Providing Penalties for Violation Thereof; an Ordinance Setting Every 28th Day of September to 4th Day of October of the Year as Animal Welfare Awareness Week in the City of Bacolod and Providing Funds Therefor.
Verdeflor said, “In my 12 years in public office, I did my best to serve the people by working hard to honor the mandate given to me by our beloved people. As a lawyer by profession, law-making was part of my practice and I have extended it in making local ordinances, resolutions and performing the conduct of committee and public hearings concerning various issues and problems of our people. I have enhanced my skills in solving problems by consulting our people, allowing them to air their sentiments and at the same time listening to their suggestions and with that, we naturally arrived in solutions that are mutually beneficial to the sectors concerned. Let me say my sincerest THANK YOU TO ALL BACOLODNONS. May God continue to shower us with His divine blessings to guide us and protect us in our daily endeavors.”