In photo: (L-R): Gabby Roxas (Country Marketing Head, Google PH); Stacie Chan (Product Partnerships Manager, Google Asia-Pacific); Gara Santos-Ontiveros (Industry Head for CPG, Google PH); Ken Lingan (Country Manager, Google PH); Mahesh Bhalerao (Global Director, Google NBU Partnerships); Nikka Arcilla (Brand Marketing Manager, Google Maps); Simon Tokumine (Group Product Manager, Google Search)

 
MANILA PHILIPPINES—In the first-ever Google for Philippines event in Manila last Feb. 13, 2019, Google announced its plans to bring the digital world closer to every Filipino in the country, no matter the distance. Opening with Ken Lingan, Google PH Country Manager, the morning set the tone for what’s to come with new product launches and updates that are “para sa bayan, para sa lahat” (for the nation, for everyone). 
 
 
Helping Pinoys connect to the Internet 
  1. Google Station 

A platform that provides open, free and high quality Wi-Fi hotspots, Google Station is a project with SMART to expand connectivity to heavily-trafficked areas such as airports, markets, malls, and bus stations. It will be available in more than 50 locations, including airports in Manila, Clark, and Davao, and LRT 2 and MRT 3 stations by the end of February and is also expected to launch in hundreds more sites in the country before the end of the year. 

Mahesh Bhalerao (Global Director, Google NBU Partnerships)

 

  1. Google Go

For Filipinos going online for the first time, Google brings a new way to enjoy the best of internet in one convenient app with Google Go. Showcasing the latest Search trends as well as the Philippines  most popular apps and websites, the newly-launched app brings the best of the web to your fingertips with just a tap. It has three special features that meet the needs of users who are new to the internet — a tap-first user interface, a less than 5MB consumption on storage, and a “play” button to read the text out loud. 

Simon Tokumine (Group Product Manager, Google Search)

Google Go is now available on the Google Play Store.

 

Providing relevant and localized experiences for Filipinos 
  1. Number Coding on Google Maps 

Created in collaboration with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the new Number Coding feature will help drivers get to their destination while avoiding restricted roads on their coding day. Users can simply input their assigned coding day in the Google Maps app and Google Maps will recommend route options keeping in mind the restricted roads. 

Nikka Arcilla (Brand Marketing Manager, Google Maps)

 

  1. Jobs on Google Search

To help connect job seekers and employers, when Filipinos  search for “job vacancies” they’ll see job listings from across the web directly in Search, including job sites like the Department of Labor and Employment, Civil Service Commission, Kalibrr, Jobayan and Jobs Cloud. With over half a million listings, the new job search experience  will allow people to filter search results by criteria such as job type, industry or city. Job seekers can also save a specific search and get alerts about new and relevant job openings. 

Stacie Chan (Product Partnerships Manager, Google Asia-Pacific)

Connect to more opportunities now with Jobs on Google Search.

 

  1. “Digiskarteng Pinay”

For madiskarteng Filipinas, this is a program powered by YouTube that aims to empower women by connecting them to content that can help improve their lives. The Youtube channel will provide “upskilling” content across different categories ranging from Family Nutrition, Financial Literacy, Beauty, Fashion to STEM, coding skills and technical skills. Google has partnered with NGOs, government bodies, brands and creators to help provide information for women and enable them to improve and diversify their  skill sets for their personal growth  or create  livelihood opportunities. 

Gara Santos-Ontiveros (Industry Head for CPG, Google PH)

“Upskill” now on Youtube with “Digiskarteng Pinay”.

 

Enabling MSMEs to connect with customers online
  1. Google My Business

Highlighting the need to support the digitization of small businesses, “Google My Business” is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google Search and Maps has been available for Filipino businesses to use since 2015. By verifying and editing their business information, publishing posts promoting a special offer or event, or replying to reviews, Filipino merchants can attract new customers and engage with existing ones where they spend an increasing amount of their time—online on mobile. PLDT Enterprise has also confirmed to help verify Filipino Business Profiles through an online process and support them to get their businesses listed online. 

Gabby Roxas (Country Marketing Head, Google PH)

Register and connect to more customers with Google My Business.

 
We also got a chance to speak with Ken Lingan (Country Manager, Google PH) personally to discuss the big revelations made after the morning festivities. He shared with us that he believes now is the perfect time to launch the aforementioned projects in the country because “first and foremost, Google has always been excited about the Philippine market. It’s young, it’s growing, it’s getting more affluent, getting more connected so I think [that] as a company, Google globally really sees the Philippines as an amazing opportunity — a market that we should all look at.”  
 
Moreover, Google PH aims to tackle the issue of connectivity and opportunities through its 2019 plans, as Ken shared with us:
 
“Ultimately, a lot or all of these announcements are really meant to drive inclusive growth and open up opportunities for every Filipino. In Google Philippines, the way we are related to our mission is how we connect every Filipino to boundless opportunities”. 
 

 

Stay tuned for even more exciting announcements from Google this year, and keep your eyes peeled for the official launch of Google Station this February, along with the other platforms that are now available online.