MANILA, Philippines — After years of speculation and rumors, Google officially announced on Wednesday the opening of its Philippine representative office, also naming former Friendster executive Narciso Reyes as its first country manager.
Google Philippines will be the search giant’s fifth representative office in the Southeast Asian region, following consecutive establishment of bases in Malaysia, Thailand, and most recently Indonesia over the past several years, aside from its regional Singapore office. The Philippine office will reportedly be located in Makati.
With its local presence here now official, executives said Filipinos can expect Google to play a more significant role in the everyday lives of Filipinos, as well as in the development of local communities.
“We’re excited to be deepening our investment in the Philippines with the opening of our office here in Manila,” Reyes said. “Our local team will be committed to providing services to our Filipino users and to helping businesses — large and small — grow locally and globally, contributing to the growth of the Philippine economy.”
Google said it is currently hiring employees for its Manila office, with postings to be uploaded on its website in the coming days.
As earlier reported by InterAksyon.com, Google had started screening applicants for various Philippine positions early last year, with job postings for spokesperson, head of marketing, and country sales manager up for grabs. ()
In November, blogs reported the appointment of Reyes as the head of Philippine sales for Google, prompting speculations to once again fly about the company’s plans for its representative office here.
The Mountain View, California-based company had, in recent years, continually tapped local talent to sell its AdWords and other search advertising products to local companies and advertisers, industry watchers have said.
In the last few years, Google had paid particular attention to the local market as it launched YouTube Philippines in 2011 — the first of such localizations in Southeast Asia — as well as when it first launched its free mobile email and search service here, underscoring the potential of the Philippines as a key market for Google in the region.
“The Philippines is a key country in Southeast Asia in terms of its digital economy and tech-savvy population. This new office will allow us to better engage with our local users, partners, and advertisers,” said Julian Persaud, managing director at Google Southeast Asia.