Google unveiled a string of new products specially created for the local market and users. The launch titled “Google for Philippines” also saw the support of various enterprises and brands that have forged partnerships with the technology company to bring these services to Filipinos.
“We believe that we can use technology to help uplift the country and benefit every single Filipino. Para sa bayan, para sa lahat,” said Ken Lingan, country manager of Google Philippines. “We want to harness technology that will connect every Filipino to boundless opportunities.”
The objective of the “Google for Philippines” campaign is to enable free and open access to the internet and produce services that would allow small businesses to leverage on technology and be able to participate in the fast-growing digital economy.
In his speech, Acting Information and Communications Secretary Eliseo Rio appealed to technology and communications companies to provide Filipinos with affordable, better, and fast internet connectivity.
“If we can just improve our internet connectivity, we can now have new OFWs: Online Filipino Workers,” Rio said.
One of the highlights of the “Google for Philippines” event is the launch of Google Station, a platform that provides open and free Wi-Fi hotspots to Filipinos. On the same day, Google CEO Sundar Pichai made the announcement on his Twitter account. Google Station is currently available in India, Indonesia, and Mexico.
In partnership with telecommunications company PLDT, Google aims to open more than 50 venues by the end of February and this will be in government buildings, malls and establishments, schools and universities, and bus stations and terminals nationwide.
Along with Google Station, the tech company also introduced Google Go, an all-in-one app intended for first-time smartphone users. Number Coding will soon be a new feature on Google Maps.
“Google Go, a new AI-powered ‘all-in-one app’ for the internet, helps new smartphone owners using the web for the first time discover websites and apps easily,” said Simon Tokumine, Group Product Manager for Search at Google.
As part of its aim for inclusive growth effort, Google will be adding jobs on Google Search to make it easier for Filipinos to find employment. This is in partnership with online recruitment platform Kalibrr. Google is working with the Department of Labor and Employment’s Bureau of Local Employment, as well as the Civil Service Commission, to ensure that jobs listed on these government agencies’ websites are made accessible using this new feature.
Digiskarteng Pinay is for Filipinas, a program powered by YouTube that aims to empower women by connecting them to content that can help improve their lives. Digiskarteng Pinay 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 will provide faster and easier opportunities for micro, small, and medium enterprise reach and engage with online customers via Google My Business, a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google Search and Maps. For this service, Google is collaborating with PLDT Enterprise and is also working with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to digitize MSMEs, through the DTI’s Negosyo Centers.