Google open its fifth office in Southeast Asia in Manila

Julian Persaud says Google is in the Philippines "for the long term."

Google Opens Office in Manila

Google is expanding its presence in the Philippines, opening its first office in the increasingly Internet-savvy Southeast Asian country.

"The Philippines is a key country in Southeast Asia in terms of its digital economy and tech-savvy population," Julian Persaud, managing director of Google in Southeast Asia, said at an event Wednesday marking the milestone office in Manila. "This new office will allow us better engage with our local users, partners and advertisers."

Google's move reflects the growing use of the Internet in the Philippines.

According to a report by the Asia Digital Marketing Association, 33.6 million Filipinos tapped into the Internet in 2011. That's already about one third of the population. By 2016, the report said, 59 percent of the population will be turning to the Internet, for everything from shopping to building a business to connecting with friends.

Google opened its first regional office in Southeast Asia in 2007. It also has regional offices in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Google officials said they will hire some people, but didn't say how much the latest investment will be.

Persaud said Google will be in the Philippines "for the long term."

The move follows such Google activity in the Philippines as the launch of Free Zone, which allows those with Internet-capable mobile phone and a Google account to use Google services for free, including Gmail and Google Search.

Government Undersecretary Manuel L. Quezon III said he was pleased by Google's latest step.

"We are delighted that Google has decided to set up an office in Manila," Quezon said. "Their presence is a testament to their commitment to the Philippines. We hope that Google's entry will encourage more local businesses to go online and tap into international markets."

Narciso Reyes, who has more than 16 years of digital marketing and finance experience in Asia and the U.S., has been named country manager for the Philippines.

"We're excited to be deepening our investment in the Philippines with the opening of our office here in Manila," Mr. Reyes said.

"Our local team will be committed to providing better services to our Filipino users and to helping businesses — large and small — grow locally and globally, contributing to the growth of the Philippine economy,'' Mr. Reyes said.  "We envision Google as part of everyday Filipino lives and as a partner in the development of local communities, culture and business." (

Wall Street Journal 

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