Google has opened its Philippine representative office in Makati City, with former Friendster executive Narciso Reyes taking the helm of the search giant’s operations in the country. This comes after years of speculation and rumors, which started when Google first hired a Philippine country consultant in the person of Aileen Apolo in 2006.

With Google’s presence now physically established in the country, its userbase in the Philippines can now expect the company to play a more significant role in the local community. Google is “excited to be deepening our investment in the Philippines,” said Reyes. “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 Philippines country office officially launched

The Google Jeepney (Image Credits: Interaksyon)

The Philippine office is the fifth representative office in Southeast Asia, following Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as Google’s Singapore regional office. “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 Google managing director for Southeast asia Julian Persaud at the “surprise” launch event today in Taguig.

Google sought to fill executive roles for the Philippines in 2012, which included spokesperson, head of marketing and country sales manager. The company says it is hiring for its Manila office, and will be posting openings soon. Google has been actively tapping local talent to sell its advertising products to its markets around the globe, and it is likely that the Philippine office will do the same for local businesses.

Featured Image Credits: Interaksyon